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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Vehicle Marque

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Official Site: BMWGroup.com
Wikipedia: BMW, History of BMW


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Reference Desk
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A German manufacturer of cars and SUVs. BMW is an initialism for Bayerische Motoren Werke, translating to Bavarian Motor Works, and is based in Munich, Germany.

The logo is intended to evoke a spinning propeller, as aircraft engines was a major part of their early business. The white and light blue check are the colors of Bavaria. Founded in 1916, following restrictions on aircraft manufacturing after the first World War BMW started manufacturing motorcycles in 1923, and automobiles in 1928.

After World War II, part of the BMW company lay in the new nation of East Germany.  Because of the political division between East and West, the Eisenach plant continued to operate and produce BMW cars, although it was no longer affiliated with the headquarters of BMW in West Germany.  Legal actions forced the new BMW to change their name, and they became EMW.

BMW currently manufactures various lines of cars with names based on their chassis and engine, with a three-digit number followed by letters designating certain vehicle features.  The first number is the body style, and all specific models are collectively referred to by their body number (for example, the 740i, 750i and 750iL are all referred to as the 7 Series).  The second two numbers are engine displacement in liters.  Series include the 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, and 8 Series.

Individual vehicle names used by BMW currently and throughout history include:  3/15, 128i, 135i, 318i, 320d, 320i, 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 340i, 435i, 502, 503, 507, 525i, 528e, 528i, 530i, 530xi, 530xd, 533i, 535d, 730i, 740i, 740iL, 745i, 750iL, 760i, 850i, 1800, 2000, 2002, Concept CS, Hydrogen 7, i3, i8, Isetta, K100, M Coupe, M1, M3, M4, M5, M6, M135i, M235i, R nineT, R100S, R900, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, Z1, Z3, Z4, and Z8.

Dealerships include:
Braman BMW Jupiter (Jupiter, Florida)


“If light travels faster than the speed of sound, how come I can hear the guy in the BMW behind me honk before the light turns green?” u/2020VisionEnabled on Reddit, 2017


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's BMW page on 21 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

BMW was established as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft-engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production as the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted in 1923, followed by automobiles in 1928–29.

The first car which BMW successfully produced and the car which launched BMW on the road to automobile production was the Dixi, based on the Austin 7 and licensed from the Austin Motor Company in Birmingham, England.

By the year 1958, the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find an alternative. It was decided to carry on by trying to cash in on the current economy car boom exploited so successfully by German ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel. BMW bought the rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta. BMW's version of the tiny cars were to be powered by a modified form of BMW's motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet.

Since 1959, the controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft has been the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float.

BMW acquired the Hans Glas company based in Dingolfing, Germany, in 1966. Glas vehicles were briefly badged as BMW until the company was fully absorbed. It was reputed that the acquisition was mainly to gain access to Glas' development of the timing belt with an overhead camshaft in automotive applications, although some saw Glas' Dingolfing plant as another incentive. However, this factory was outmoded and BMW's biggest immediate gain was, according to themselves, a stock of highly qualified engineers and other personnel. The Glas factories continued to build a limited number of their existing models, while adding the manufacture of BMW front and rear axles until they could be closer incorporated into BMW.

In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design studio DesignworksUSA, which they fully acquired in 1995. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group (which at the time consisted of the Rover, Land Rover and MG brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was incurring huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001.

Chief designer Chris Bangle announced his departure from BMW in February 2009, after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. He was replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk, Bangle's former right-hand man. Bangle was known for his radical designs such as the 2002 7-Series and the 2002 Z4. In July 2007, the production rights for Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.

In June 2012, BMW was listed as the #1 most reputable company in the world by Forbes.com. Rankings are based upon aspects such as "people's willingness to buy, recommend, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products."

Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

2005 BookThe Ultimate History of BMW by Andrew Noakes; Parragon Publishing


14 July 2017
15-56801 Seungtae Kim v. BMW Financial Services
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
An appeal from the district court's judgment after a jury trial on claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and California's Identity Theft Law.
Download 15-56801 Seungtae Kim v. BMW Financial Services - 356KB - 35:34

Unidentified Photographs

The following photographs cannot be identified.  If you know any details about these images, please e-mail admin@carsandracingstuff.com.

BMW Photo courtesy of Image*After
View photo - 818KB
BMW Modified by Remus
Photo courtesy of Image*After
View photo - 1,045KB
BMW Photo courtesy of Image*After
View photo - 267KB
BMW Photo courtesy of Image*After
View photo - 1,045KB
BMW Motorcycle with EML Sidecar With EML Sidecar
Photo courtesy of Image*After
View photo of a BMW Motorcycle with EML Sidecar - 1,045KB


Championships Won in BMWs

1985Australian Touring Car ChampionshipJim Richards635Csi
1987Australian Touring Car ChampionshipJim RichardsM3

Championships Won with BMW Engines

1983FIA Formula 1 World ChampionshipNelson PiquetBrabham Cars

Article Index

August 1995Fuel Problems & Port Fuel InjectionLarry Cann
21 February 2004Grammer Industries Achieves Quality CertificationsGrammer AG
14 June 2005Tödlicher Betriebsunfall in Landshut Wikinews
22 June 2005BMW Buys Sauber F-1 TeamVOA Sports
22 June 2005In F1 dal 2006 un team tutto BMW Wikinotizie
6 February 2006Google removes German BMW from search resultsWikinews
7 February 2006Google entfernt einige BMW-Websites aus dem Suchindex Wikinews
7 February 2006«Гугл» удалил БМВ из результатов поиска Викиновости
9 March 2006Why OEM BMW Parts Are ImportantVishal S.
10 March 2006Ambulanz-Flugzeug stürzt auf Parkplatz eines BMW-Händlers Wikinews
20 June 2006BMW, Adding Wireless TechnologiesTerry Brown
29 June 2006Telematics Says BMW Leader In High-Tech FeaturesTom Bailey
12 August 2006BMW - its reputation speaks for itselfJohn Gibb
12 August 2006BMW - the reliable engineJohn Gibb
12 August 2006BMW bikes are still very popularJohn Gibb
12 August 2006BMW models uncoveredJohn Gibb
6 March 2007BMW Diesel Engines To Be Made Available For U.S. MarketAnthony Fontanelle
16 March 2007BMW Goes GreenAnthony Fontanelle
8 May 2007BMW Malaysian Sales Expected To RiseAnthony Fontanelle
8 May 2007BMW Sales: Creeping Once AgainAnthony Fontanelle
9 May 2007BMW's Choice of Engine and TransmissionsAnthony Fontanelle
10 May 2007BMW Sales To Creep Once AgainAnthony Fontanelle
12 May 2007BMW Motorrad's Neck Brace System To Boost Road SafetyAnthony Fontanelle
12 May 2007BMW Tops International Engine AwardsAnthony Fontanelle
8 June 2007Novell Aids Xen Virtualization At BMW GroupAnthony Fontanelle
1 July 2007BMW To Source Auto Parts From IndiaAnthony Fontanelle
10 December 2007BMW: Top Quality Passenger Vehicle in South AfricaAnthony Fontanelle
22 December 2007BMW plant Streichung mehrerer tausend Stellen in Deutschland Wikinews
22 February 2008Choosing The Right BMW ExhaustWayne Levy
24 June 2008Elektroautos von BMW: Das große Schweigen Wikinews
5 July 2008BMW setzt auf Verbrennungsmotoren Wikinews
10 July 2008Kehrtwende bei BMW: Elektro-Mini soll getestet werden Wikinews
6 December 2008BMW vehicle sales lower by a quarterWikinews
12 February 2009Sonderpreis für Innovationen geht an BMW für die Entwicklung des Elektroautos MINI E Wikinews
8 March 2009BMW Provides Excellence and Innovation for Nearly 100 YearsRonnie Tanner
16 April 2010BMW M-Tec Badges - A Few Myths DispelledNigel Marston
29 April 2010BMW Chrome Accessories - The TruthNigel Marston
28 June 2010How to Replace BMW Wheel BadgesNigel Marston
8 September 2010Why Buy Genuine BMW Badges Instead of FakesNigel Marston
1 October 2010Germany’s BMW Recalls 350,000 CarsVOA Breaking News
12 November 2010BMW Features Vision Efficient Dynamics at Moscow Show Armen Hareyan, TorqueNews
7 March 2011BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncomplianceFederal Register: NHTSA (Claude H. Harris)
21 June 2011Foreign-Trade Subzone 38A; Application for Expansion of Manufacturing Authority (Production Capacity); BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC; (Motor Vehicles)Federal Register: Foreign-Trade Zones Board (Andrew McGilvray)
8 July 2011BMW Testing CampaignLaura Hartson
14 July 2011"Don't Text and Drive" Campaign by BMW focuses on Raising Awareness on Safe DrivingBob Price
9 August 2011BMW announces 7.6% sales rise as US, China demand growsWikinews
10 February 2012BMW to Pay $3 Million in Civil Penalties for Untimely Reporting of 2010 RecallsNHTSA
12 April 2012Two Chinese Students Killed at USCJessica Stahl, VOA News Student Union
9 May 2012Why a BMW Became Newsworthy When Chinese Students Died at USCQian, VOA News Student Union
9 July 2012BMW pours £250m into the UK Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
29 August 2012Petition for Exemption From the Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; BMW of North America, LLCFederal Register: NHTSA (Mary L. Versailles)
3 September 2012BMW introduces 114d hatch, revised 3 series engines Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
25 January 2013BMW and Toyota to make a sports car together Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
20 March 2013BMW's Head of Design doesn't wear a black rollneck jumper Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
18 April 2013Shock! Horror! BMW to drop the Hofmeister Kink Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
24 April 2013I want to love modern BMWs but can't bring myself to do so Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
5 June 2013BMW! Step away from the grille! Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
17 June 2013Revealed - BMW's inspiration for the new 'bent' grille Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
29 August 2013Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Occupant Crash ProtectionFederal Register: NHTSA (Christopher J. Bonanti)
9 September 2013Bullish BMW Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
12 December 2013The Latest BMW M Cars Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
30 October 2013Extend The Life Of Your BMW With Proper CareEli Gali
7 November 2013BMW Kidney Grilles - Choose Your Year Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
20 January 2014When Time Is MoneyEli Gali
21 January 2014Are There Specialists In BMW Service?Eli Gali
4 April 2014BMW Owners Know How To Use Money WiselyEli Gali
9 April 2014BMW's Range Now Seems To Make Sense - And It's Seriously Good Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
21 May 2014Foreign-Trade Zone 38--Spartanburg County, South Carolina; Application for Expansion of Subzone 38A; BMW Manufacturing Company, LLC; Greer, South CarolinaFederal Register: Foreign-Trade Zones Board (Andrew McGilvray)
26 November 2014BMW Opposes Plan to Require More Women in Leadership PositionsVOA News
19 June 2015Notification of Proposed Production Activity, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, Subzone 38A, (Motor Vehicles), Spartanburg, South CarolinaFederal Register: Foreign-Trade Zones Board (Elizabeth Whiteman)
10 September 2014Expansion of Subzone 38A BMW Manufacturing Company, LLC; Greer, South CarolinaFederal Register: DoC (Paul Piquado)
9 October 2015Authorization of Production Activity, Foreign-Trade Subzone 38A, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, (Motor Vehicles), Spartanburg, South CarolinaFederal Register: DoC (Pierre V. Duy)
23 November 2015Notification of Proposed Production Activity; BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, Subzone 38A (Motor Vehicle Body Parts and Lithium-Ion Batteries), Spartanburg, South CarolinaFederal Register: DoC (Andrew McGilvray)
1 December 2015Top BMW Dealers Recognized for New Car Inventory PerformanceAutomotive Ventures
4 January 2016Top BMW Stores for December Demonstrate Superior New Car Inventory PerformanceAutomotive Ventures
18 January 2016PENETRON Helps BMW Cars Roll off the Line in BrazilThe Penetron Group
4 February 2016Top BMW Stores Recognized for Superior New Car Inventory PerformanceAutomotive Ventures
4 March 2016Top BMW Stores Recognized by Automotive Ventures for Superior New Car Inventory PerformanceAutomotive Ventures
7 March 2016Authorization of Production Activity; Foreign-Trade Subzone 38A; BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC; (Motor Vehicle Body Parts and Lithium-Ion Batteries); Spartanburg, South CarolinaFederal Register: DoC (Andrew McGilvray)
6 May 2016BMW Partnered with Bill Plant SchoolBill Plant Driving School
15 September 2016BMW ReachNow CEO to Keynote TU-Automotive West Coast 2016TU-Automotive
18 January 2017BMW Group of America, LLC, Incorporated, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncomplianceFederal Register: NHTSA (Jeffrey M. Giuseppe)
28 March 2017BMW Presents “How Automation Drives the Ultimate Driving Machine and Its Workforce”PMMI Media Group
19 June 2017Alternative Method for Calculating Off-Cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, and Hyundai Motor GroupFederal Register: EPA (Byron J. Bunker)
26 December 2017Approval of Expanded Subzone Status; BMW Manufacturing Company, LLC; Duncan, South CarolinaFederal Register: DoC (Gary Taverman)
22 March 2018BMW of North America, LLC--Receipt of Petition for Temporary Exemption From FMVSS No. 108 for Adaptive Driving Beam; BMW of North America, LLC and Volkswagen Group of America--Request for Certain Information To Support Petitions for Adaptive Driving BeamsFederal Register: NHTSA (Raymond R. Posten)
8 March 2018Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 38--Charleston, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC (Hybrid Passenger Vehicles); Spartanburg, South CarolinaFederal Register: DoC (Andrew McGilvray)


DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
10 February 2012IN RE BMW of North America, LLC
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

- 43KB - 11 pages
20 November 2012Design for Wheel or Wheel Cover
United States Patent US D671,059
Gert Pollmann for Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft

- 119KB - 2 pages
20 November 2012Design for Wheel or Wheel Cover
United States Patent US D671,060
Stephan Baum for Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft

- 115KB - 2 pages

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