Ten facts about BMW you didn't know
October 17, 2016 at 4:21 PM
1. BMW didn't actually start out manufacturing cars, BMW actually started out manufacturing airplane engines and propellers, during a shortage of planes during World War One. BMW manufactured a bi-plane which managed to take the world record for the greatest altitude achieved by a bi-plane, it reached 32,000 feet in 1919.
2. BMW nearly went bankrupt in 1959 BMW was facing bankruptcy in 1959 and almost got bought out by Mercedes. BMW pulled out of the deal as they had been approached by a private investor, which enabled them to stay solvent and not require the Mercedes investment. The individual that bailed them out, their family still holds shares in BMW.
3. BMW's logo is commonly mistaken for a spinning aeroplane propeller. The BMW badge was actually taken from the design of the flag of Bavaria, which is where BMW originated from. The blue and white are the national colours of Bavaria. In English, BMW stands for Bavarian Motor Works, derived from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in German.
4. The Treaty of Versailles in responsible for BMW getting into car manufactureWhen BMW were forbidden to manufacture warplanes and other associated warplane equipment, they turned to car manufacture, with great success.
5. The signature front grilles are not a new design. The iconic front grilles are named kidney grilles and first appeared in 1933, on the BMW 03.
6. BMW's Headquarters are symbolicWhilst most car manufacturers were made famous by the six cylinder engine, BMW blew the competition out the water by revolutionising the four cylinder engine and it contributed to BMW's success even today. The Headquarters are a none to subtle nod to this fact. The Headquarters are shaped like a four cylinder engine.
7. BMW's first car was meant to be made by Lamborghini. The M1 was BMW's first car and proved to be a major success. It was originally meant to be made by Lamborghini, however, they had to withdraw from manufacturing the car due to funding restraints.
8. BMW have manufactured electric cars for 40 years. Electric cars are seen to be a new concept, however, this is not the case for BMW. They have been designing and manufacturing electric cars for over 40 years. Their first electrically powered car, named 1602 made its debut at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Despite being electric, the car was a 42 horsepower car.
9. BMW don't just manufacture carsWith their car interiors being market leading, BMW also manufactures car and train interiors, for those wishing to have a touch of luxury.
10. BMW also manufactured motorbikes BMW Motorrad, the motorcycle division of BMW, designed and constructed the world’s fastest motorcycle in 1937. This two-wheeler was extremely aerodynamic, with a supercharged engine and reached incredible speeds of 278 km/h, which was unheard of in the 1930s.