BMW is known for its performance and luxury vehicles. Some of the more well known BMW models are the 3-series, 5-series, 6-series, X5, Z4 and M3 the most successful touring car racer ever. It also owns and produces the MINI brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands.
Gustav Otto (the son of the wealthy Nikolaus August Otto, the inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion engine) set up a training school and factory to manufacture air craft in 1910. A few years later this company was bought by MAN AG and they established a new company called Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW) on the site.
The company produced aircraft engines for Germany during World War I; they then turned to automobile manufacture as an alternative once the war was over. This was to be the forerunner of today’s BMW which stands for Bavarian Motor Works in English.
The first motor car manufactured by BMW was the Austin Seven in 1928. The following year the world motorcycle speed record of 134 mph was achieved on a BMW R37. The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel is portrayed by BMW as the movement of an aircraft propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky.