BMW 100 years


Bayerische Motoren Werke AG known as the BMW is a German company, producer of cars, motorcycles and engines founded in 1916 ……… makes 100 years in 2016.


History is as follows:


In Ocotber 1913 Karl Friedrich Rapp establishes “Rapp-Motorenwerke” in a former bicycle factory near Munich. He starts manufacturing his own aircraft engines but unfortunately they suffered form problems with vibrations.


Close to Rapp´s factory, Gustav Otto, the son of the inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion engine, sets up a business building small aircrafts. Otto enjoys great success with “Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik”.


Rapp’s company has secured a contract with Prussia and Austro-Hungary to produce 25 large V12 aircraft engines. Rapp Motoren Werke had problems with the reliability of the engines so they began buying four-cylinder water-cooled aircraft engines from the Gustav Otto factory. In the following months Otto’s company is absorbed. Gustav Otto´s “Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik” merging with “Rapp-Motorenwerke” formed “Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke” or BFW, in English “Bavarian Aircraft Works”.


Franz-Josef Popp, an Austrian engineer, directed Rapp’s business. He was securing the all-important military contracts. Popp tranformed then the existing company into “Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH”. BMW formally recognizes its birthday as March 7, 1916.