A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.
The journey of BMW began When Karl Friedrich Rapp took the bold step and signed a partnership agreement with Fran-Josef Poop and Camillo Castiglioni in the year 1917 to be able to survive the financial downturn his company Rap-Motorenwerke was going through back then. Before then Rapp had a well to do company that manufactured aircraft engines during World War1 but unfortunately, his engines suffered a great misfortune which made his competitors overtook his position. That was a major setback that kept his company away until he got a new contract to manufacture 600 aircraft engines for the Prussian army and this made him sign that partnership deal.
The Beginning of BMW
You all are aware that the beautiful piece of gold that we see now and adore actually passed through a burning furnace before it becomes what it is. The same thing goes for BMW, this company stood the test of time. Although the turbulence of war affected it stood firm and survived even when other companies were folding up. The company that started with military aircraft engines to motorcycles, now manufacture luxury vehicles.
It all started from a small production facility very close to Munich. The very first thing which showcased the unity of this company was their logo. It comprises of a blue and white colour which reflects the Bavarian state. Although this logo has undergone several modifications, its original intention is still very much pronounced.
In the year 1923, BMW acquired a new production plant, the Oberwiesenfield also very close to Munich. To this present day, that facility in Munich happens to be the headquarters and on a yearly basis, record has it that it manufactures over 200,000 vehicles, accommodating over 9,000 workers.
BMW took another landmark step in the year 1923 when the company decided to start manufacturing motorcycles for the very first time. It was a massive transition but they were somehow able to cope with the whole thing and came out with R32. The design of this motorcycle was a masterpiece of both engineering work and art. This original design is still considered fit into today's technological world.
BMW started manufacturing vehicles when they purchased the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, which was of the largest automobile manufacturing facility in Germany back then. It was kind of a abut sceptical why BMW decided to use a borrowed design for their first vehicle and that raised an uproar in the air but they came through with it and used the design they borrowed for Austin Motor company for years. In the year 1932, BMW was able to come up with theirs.
World War II Era
The second World War affected BMW beyond doubt. It all started with the Nazi invasion, the German government took over the operation of the plant and used it to manufacture war materials, motorcycles and aircraft.
The war brought darker days and things weren't getting any better. Large quantities of war materials needed to be shipped to the war front and with a really drained labour market, it became impossible. To meet up with with the labour demand, BMW had to recruit workers from foreign countries. Despite all these efforts, it was not sufficient. In 1942, BMW started using POW that was captured in action, prisoners from the Nazi camp and also forced labourers. It was a terrible time for BMW, but all that seems to matter then was efficiency and nothing more.
Nazi was finally defeated and everyone was happy. Little did BMW knew that the worst days are yet to come. The allied forces destroyed all of BMW plays due to the fact that they played a major role in the war. BMW was ruined, in order to keep their head above the water, they started manufacturing pans, pots and other kitchen utensils. BMW actually thought that was the end until their factory at Munich was ripped off all its machinery. These downturns almost ruin BMW back then and this lasted till 1949.
The Post War Era
In the year 1951, BMW had a major comeback with the introduction of 501. This vehicle was the first and was considered as a luxury vehicle but it actually failed. Although, it managed to put BMW back in like. BMW 5O1 was a vehicle with a very large interior accommodate up to six passengers comfortably.
In the year 1959, Daimler-Benz gave BMW an enticing offer to buy the company. But BMW has always been resilient, they turned down the offer and proved to the world that they were not going down without a fight. But there came the saviour, the German government gave BMW a fat cheque for the consolation of the damages caused. From that point on. They were able to restructure and rebuild.
When it comes to a company that has survived two world wars, you shouldn't expect anything less. BMW scaled to the forefront in the 60s and 70s. BMW began to enlarge its coast and took on bigger challenges. They did this with the help of BMW credit which was founded in the year 1971. The primary objective of this financial subsidiary organization was to help the growth and development of dealership companies a stage of infancy all over the world.
The big boom came in 1972 when BMW began massive extension in other countries. The plant in Rosslyn South Africa is one of them. This company South Africa is said to produce over 53,000 of BMW automobiles on a yearly basis. Although there was apartheid turmoil in South Africa at that time that wasn't the case with BMW, the salary scale was fair and there was no preference.
The New Millennium
In this era, BMW has shown no sign of taking the back seat. They keep opening new plants and designing luxury cars. With the new Rolls-Royce plant that BMW opened at Goodwill in 2003. It has been a non-stop production of this prestige car. Moments later, a new production plant was opened in Shenyang, China. The last which was actually the best ever is in Germany.
This company is indeed a success story, a company that fought to climb up the ladder of success. The future is very bright and they still have so many technologically inclined vehicle to showcase.