BMW Group

BMW Group began operations in Munich, Germany in 1916 as an aircraft engine manufacturer. Officially named The Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH on July 21, 1917 the company experienced rapid growth and in 1918 was converted to a stock corporation and became BMW AG.

In 1923 the company began manufacturing motorcycles and in 1928 began its production of motorcars. BMW retained its now famous blue and white logo, which represents a spinning propeller against a blue sky.

Today, BMW Group worldwide employs over 100,000 employees in over 140 countries, with production facilities in Germany, Austria, England, United States, South Africa and Brazil and assembly facilities in eight nations.

Eight model series and a clearly profiled product portfolio cover all the relevant premium segments in today's market.

In 2005 BMW Group became the leading supplier of luxury cars on a global scale, echoing its position as the leader in the Australian luxury car market for much of the past decade and a half. In 2004 and 2005, BMW was the best selling luxury brand in Australia. BMW Group supplied 1.3 million vehicles to the global car market in 2005, with 15,910 customers purchasing a BMW in Australia.

BMW Group Australia has operated as a wholly owned subsidiary since 1979. The BMW Group Australia dealership network consists of 40 dealers.

BMW Group head office is based in Munich at the four-cylinder tower at Olympic Park, acting as the nerve centre for the global activities of the BMW Group.

The current Board of Management consists of five members plus the chair of the board: Dr. Eng. Norbert Reithofer took over as Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG on 1 September 2006.

The Supervisory Board is made up of 20 members - 10 representing the investors and 10 representing the employees. It is headed by Prof. Joachim Milberg.

BMW Group assumes responsibility for political affairs and the development of society through their commitment to environmental needs: development of the world's first hydrogen car with a combustion engine to enter series production clearly demonstrates the leading role of the BMW Group in penetrating mobility solutions fit for the future.

BMW is at the forefront of technology and innovation with the Research and Development headquarters based in Munich.

Home to nearly 6, 000 scientists, engineers, designers, managers and specialists, the office is known by its German initials- FIZ (Forschungs und Ingenieurszentrum or Research and Engineering Centre) and is the think tank for all BMW designed products. BMW has a long history of involvement in Motorsport in many different categories.

In 2005 BMW announced it would assume control of Sauber to form the BMW Sauber F1 Team. In 2006 this team employed the services of Jacques Villeneuve, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica under the supervision of Dr. Mario Theissen.

The success of the BMW Group is simple: the company knows its strengths and consistently focuses all its resources on them.

Strong brands, thrilling cars and motorcycles and an uncompromising orientation towards premium standards in every respect.



The original company, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (Bavarian Aircraft Works) was founded in Munich by Franz Josef Popp, an industrialist, Max Friz, an engineer and Camillo Castiglioni, a financier.Two years later the name was changed to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (Bavarian Motor Works).


The first BMW motorcycle is developed - the R32, by Max Friz.This is the clear predecessor of today's models with a flat twin engine in a twin tube frame.


BMW enters into car manufacturing with the Dixi, a British Austin 7 made under license. The model proved to be a great success and enabled BMW to survive the world depression that followed the Wall Street crash of October 1929.


The launch of BMW's first completely new model came in 1933 with the six-cylinder 303, aimed at customers wanting speed, elegance and prestige from a small economical car. It was also the first car to feature the now legendary BMW kidney shaped radiator.


The high level of sales incurred a need for a greater production capacity so in 1966 BMW took over a plant in Dingolfing and by 1968 BMW production reached the level of 100, 000 cars per year. Dingolfing remains today as the largest BMW plant in the world.


BMW builds its first plant outside Germany in Pretoria, South Africa; playing an integral part during the political instability and the slow break-up of the apartheid, BMW undertook specific measures against racial segregation, job discrimination and unjust compensation ensuring its 2,800 employees were well looked after.


BMW chooses to further cement its position as a global player and builds a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA. This became the home of the Z3 and extremely popular X5.


BMW purchases the Rover Group and goes on to sell it again in 2000 but retains the MINI brand.


BMW acquires the Rolls-Royce Group, although brand rights were not able to be fully exercised until 2003; BMW Group began work immediately on new designs, and building a Rolls-Royce production plant in Goodwood, West Sussex.


BMW owned MINI begins deliveries of cars, with sales commencing in Australia in 2002.

In 2005, MINI built more than 200,000 cars for the first time.


Rolls-Royce unveils the Phantom, the first Rolls-Royce Motor Car designed and built by BMW