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BMW celebrates 100 years today, March 7th

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Happy 100th birthday, BMW! That’s right: The Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW AG) was originally registered on March 7th, 1916. 

It all started in the aircraft industry, mind you, right as World War I raged on. In fact, the propeller depicted on the BMW logo is a reminder of that, while the blue and white symbolize Bavaria.

After the 1919 Treaty of Versailles put an end to its plane business, BMW turned to motorcycles and cars. The first BMW bike, the R 32, was introduced in 1923, while the brand’s first passenger car, the 3/15 PS, followed in 1929. Seven years later, BMW launched the original 328, which went on to become one of the best-selling car nameplates in the world.

Over the years, the automaker’s reputation kept growing. During the 1970s, the new R 80 G/S revolutionized the motorcycle industry, and before the 20th century passed we witnessed the birth of the luxury SUV — the BMW X5 made its debut at the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. More recently, the i3 and i8 have showcased the company’s leadership in vehicle electrification. 

If the next 100 years mirror the first 100, BMW will be all too happy. The upcoming BMW VISION NEXT 100 is just a glimpse of what it has in store.