• Brandminds 2020

The Story behind the Brand: BMW

Do you want to know what the car of the future sounds like?
Click play!

What you’ve just heard is the sound of Vision M Next, BMW’s 2019 hybrid concept car.

The sound was designed by Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean) to provide drivers of the next generation of BMW electric cars, silent by definition, with a complete driving experience.

Although a century old, the German car manufacturer is one of the most innovative car brands in the world. Yet, no matter how many high-tech features its cars are designed with, BMW never forgets to live up to the brand’s main mission: offering sheer driving pleasure.

Before we talk about BMW’s future, let’s revisit the past and discover how it all started.

The Story behind the Brand: BMW

One of the top 10 most valuable car brands in the world, BMW didn’t start as a car manufacturer.

The company was established in 1916, in Germany and manufactured aircraft engines through 1945. This explains why its emblem illustrates a rotating propeller.

Classified as an armaments company during World War II, BMW’s plants were dismantled in 1945 under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.

Looking for a way to survive, BMW switched from building engines for aircraft to building motorcycles and cars around its powerful engines.

BMW R24 motorcycle

The BMW engine established the carmaker as an engineering force to be reckoned with.

In total, the company launched 85 car models.

4 of the most iconic BMW cars: BMW 507, BMW 1500, BMW 2002, BMW M5

Elvis Presley and his BMW 507

One of the first post-war cars launched by BMW, the beautiful and elegant BMW 507 could reach 0 to 60 in 9 seconds. Although loved by celebrities such as Elvis Presley, the BMW 507 was a commercial flop.

BMW 1500

In 1961, struggling to overcome financial difficulties, BMW launched the 1500 model. Compact, sporty and exciting, this car secured BMW’s financial success as a modern and innovative carmaker.

BMW 2002

Another BMW hit, the 2002 Turbo made history in the 1970s. Doing 0 to 60 in 7 seconds, the BMW 2002 is one of the most sought-after vintage cars in the world. This car is included in the BMW Art Cars project, a collection of 17 cars serving as canvases for renowned artists from Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons.

The Andy Warhol BMW M1

Hollywood action movies like James Bond, The Bourne Supremacy and Mission Impossible, featured BMWs such as the M5 model. The M5 Competition is currently the fastest BMW car in production with 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds.

BMW M5 in Mission Impossible

10 facts and stories you need to know about BMW

1.In December 1958 in Frankfurt, Germany, Elvis bought a used white BMW 507 after starting his military service. His female fans were leaving lipstick marks on his chalk-white paint every day, so he got it painted red.

2. In 1964, 9 people from East Germany found freedom in West Berlin with the help of a modified BMW Isetta.

3. Did you know the company has been researching and testing electric cars since the early 70s?

4. Andy Warhol painted an M1 in 1979 as part of the BMW Art Car Series. This car is the most photographed BMW Art Car in the world.

5. BMW was the first car manufacturer to establish a think-tank in 1985. Over the years, the think-tank attracted 7000 designers, engineers and technicians to develop ideas and concepts for the BMW vehicles of tomorrow.

6. With more than 700 recognized clubs all over the world, BMW has a bigger following than virtually any other brand in the world. Every year BMW crowns one of these clubs as the BMW Club of the Year.

7. The BMW Group is the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to use lightweight carbon in large-series production.

8. BMW cars are also called bimmers. The nickname “bimmer” for BMW cars originated in the US. It was derived from “beemer” or “beamer,” names for BMW motorcycles that were first coined in the UK in the 1960s and later spread across the globe.

9. The BMW Headquarters in Munich, Germany was declared a protected historic building in 1999 and is often cited as one of the city’s architectural landmarks.

10. BMW’s latest innovation is a shape-shifting steering wheel. Yeap, BMW is going full-on Star Trek. According to this source, this advanced new steering wheel is capable of changing shape in order to take up less space in the cabin when the vehicle is in autonomous mode, going from a circular to an oval-like shape.

For owners, BMW equals legacy, love and pride

From the feel of high-quality materials to the unique sound of its powerful engines, luxury design and exceptional engineering, BMWs are designed to offer sheer driving pleasure.

That’s what every BMW fan will tell you: nothing compares to driving a bimmer. It’s a strong emotional connection that ensures a life-long bond between drivers and their BMWs.

For most of them, it’s their dream car. For many, the BMW passion has been passed down from their fathers and grandfathers.

Some travel across the world to purchase a vintage BMW. Others dedicate months or even years restoring their family bimmer. What they all have in common is pride; the pride of being a BMW owner.

BMW designs cars for the future. And the future is electric.

According to the company’s reports, more than 500,000 electrified vehicles were sold by 2019 and by the end of 2021, this figure will probably rise to over a million.

In spite of pandemic-related restrictions, more vehicles from the BMW Group were sold during the first half of 2020 than in the corresponding previous-year period.

The company will focus on combining the further development of electric mobility with sustainability. BMW electrical vehicles already achieve a significantly lower impact on the environment than the corresponding petrol-driven model.

Furthermore, electricity from renewable sources is used exclusively for the production of all components of BMW eDrive technology of the latest generation. As a result, around 10 million tons of CO2 emissions will be avoided over the next ten years.

The 2024 BMW i8 M

Developed as a design icon and technology innovator, BMW will continue to offer sheer driving pleasure over the next 100 years.

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