German Automotive has been specialising in the servicing and repairing of German vehicles since 2006, with a focus on being 'The better alternative to the main dealer'.

So we take a look at the history of BMW and how the BMW badge has evolved over the years.

History of BMW
The BMW brand (Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH) was created in 1917, and the company was incorporated into Knorr-Bremse AG in 1920, before being refounded as BMW AG in 1922.

It was the successor of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, founded in 1916. 1916 is, therefore, considered BMW’s founding year.

After World War I, due to restrictions on aircraft production, BMW shifted its focus to motorcycle production.

In the 1920s, BMW started producing automobiles. Their first significant car was the BMW 3/15, also known as the "Dixi," which was based on the Austin 7.

During World War II, BMW produced aircraft engines for the German military, including the iconic BMW 801 radial engine used in aircraft like the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

Post-War reconstruction and expansion (1945-1970s)
After World War II, BMW's factories were heavily damaged. They initially resumed production with motorcycles and later began manufacturing automobiles again.

In the 1960s, BMW gained a reputation for producing sporty and high-performance cars with models like the BMW 1500, which was part of the "New Class" range.
BMW's "Neue Klasse" (New Class) models helped the company recover financially and establish itself as a producer of quality luxury vehicles.

The BMW logo has also changed since 1917, although BMW did announce that the latest logo will only be used across communications and is not a badge for vehicles


The thinking behind the design

Aircraft Propeller
One of the most enduring myths about the BMW logo is that it represents a rotating aircraft propeller. This theory originated in the 1920s when BMW was producing aircraft engines, and their logo was seen in conjunction with the spinning propellers. While this interpretation has been debunked by BMW itself, it still persists as a popular belief.

Advert from 1929.

Bavarian State Colors
The blue and white colors of the logo are derived from the colors of the Bavarian flag, paying homage to the company's roots in Bavaria, Germany, where it was founded.

Rapp Motorenwerke
The BMW logo has its origins in the emblem of Rapp Motorenwerke, an aircraft engine manufacturer founded in 1913 by Karl Rapp. When BMW was formed from the merger of Rapp Motorenwerke and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke GmbH in 1917, the logo was modified and incorporated into the new company's branding.

Symbol of Quality and Precision
The circular shape of the logo is often interpreted as representing a rotating wheel, symbolizing motion and progress. Additionally, the clean and simple design reflects BMW's commitment to quality, precision, and engineering excellence.

Overall, the BMW logo is a blend of historical legacy, regional identity, and modern symbolism, encapsulating the company's heritage and values while also signifying its forward-thinking approach to automotive innovation.