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					BMW - a reputation built on quality without compromise

As an experienced driver, you know the importance of keeping your BMW in tip-top
condition. Regular servicing will extend your car's life and identify defects before
they become catastrophic.

When you consider the history of BMW and how the Company has built its global
reputation for prestige and performance excellence, booking a BMW service that is
conducted with care and precision is vitally important in retaining the characteristics
of this prestige car.

BMW facts you may not know

BMW has its roots in pre-First World War German aviation.

Gustav Otto, son of the inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion engine, set up
an aircraft factory and training school in 1910. However, after persistent quality
problems with production, his business was bought by a consortium in 1916. The
company became known as Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW) and began
manufacturing aircraft under licence from Albatros Werke. It soon became the largest
aircraft manufacturer in Bavaria, but at the end of the First World War demand
collapsed.

Meanwhile, in 1913 an engine designer Karl Rapp had set up an aircraft engine
manufacturing company, but vibration problems with their own engines meant that
they switched production to Austro-Daimler V12 engines, under licence. A man called
Franz Josef Popp was put in to supervise the manufacturing. He managed to persuade
Karl Rapp to employ a talented design engineer from Daimler, Max Friz. Friz quickly
designed a new engine and made such an impact with the investors, that Karl Rapp
was ousted from the business in 1917. At this point the company name was changed
from Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH to Bayerische Motorenwerke BmbH (BMW).

However, in December 1918, BMW was forced to close down by the government at
the end of the First World War. However, in less than three months BMW was allowed
to reopen and began designing a new array of engines, although the company was
forced to cease aircraft engine production. At this point, an Austrian financier,
Camillo Castiglioni, had become the majority shareholder in BMW.

In the summer of 1919, BMW began building brake assemblies under licence from
Knorr-Bremse AG, and around a year later Castiglioni sold his shares in BMW to
Knorr-Bremse.

Following the sale of his stake in BMW, Castiglioni became interested in purchasing
BFW which he completed in 1922. On the back of this, he moved to purchase back
the BMW name and engine building division from Knorr-Bremse. He was successful,
and with the merger of BFW and BMW, under the BMW name, he also secured the
design and management skills of Max Friz and Franz Josef Popp, plus valuable engine
drawings and patents.

BMW began production of replacement engines, whilst Castiglioni did a lucrative
deal with the Czechs to licence the production of BMW aircraft engines for use by
their military.

During the 1920s, BMW supplied Russia with aircraft engines and Castiglioni, as well
as being the majority shareholder, siphoned off a brokerage fee on every transaction to
his ‘private' companies.

Along with military engines, BMW began to successfully manufacture small
agricultural engines and motorcycles, starting with the R 32 in 1923. These formed
the basis of the project to design a BMW production car in 1925. Then in 1928 the
company expanded into full car production with the purchase of the Eisenach Car
Factory that made the Dixi (or Austin Seven manufactured under license). The car
became known as the BMW 3/15 and it was not long before BMW was producing its
own designs.

However, Castiglioni's business dealings got himself and BMW into trouble. After
selling a majority shareholding to Deutsche Bank in 1926, to raise personal funds, his
irregular commission payments were duly revealed. He settled out of court with a
large payment back to BMW and stepped down from the board. In 1929, he sold the
remainder of his shared to Deutsche Bank to prop up his finances.

The Castiglioni affair had also cost BMW. The Russian government became aware of
the ‘commission' payments and demanded compensation. BMW handed over a
licence to produce the BMW VI engine for free and relations with the Russians came
to an end in the early 1930s.

After successful expansion of the motorcycle and car businesses in the 1930s, BMW
was forced to abandon civilian production by the National Socialist Party during the
Second World War and focus on the production of aircraft engines. This included the
use of forced labour.

Towards the end of the war, BMW was hit hard by allied bombing and when the war
ended, the sites in eastern Germany were seized by the Russians. Meanwhile, whilst
BMW survived in the West, they were banned from manufacturing engines for three
years and BMW car plans and their chief designer Fritz Fiedler were taken to England
to begin Bristol Cars. And so it was not until 1948 that production of BMW
motorcycles recommenced and not until 1952 that car production was started again.
The initial post-war car models, such as the 507 and 503, were not highly profitable
and in 1959, BMW discussed selling the business to Daimler-Benz. This was an
unpopular move with the workforce, and fortunately Chairman Kurt Golda increased
his stake in the company to secure BMW's independence.

During the 1960s the release of more sporty models spelt success for BMW. The
BMW 1500 (that followed the BMW 700) led to the BMW 1600 and BMW 1800
models and in 1967 two door and convertible models that became known as the BMW
02 series. These developments eventually led to the creation of the famous BMW 3
series.

The company expanded, with new production facilities and a new headquarters in
Munich.

Going into the 1970s, the BMW 5 series replaced the sedans, the coupes were
replaced with the BMW 3 series and a new BMW 7 series was launched, thereby
giving BMW three distinct sports sedan ranges that continued into the 1990s.

BMW became a global brand in prestige car manufacturing and sales increased 18
times. Production expanded from Germany and has spread to across continents,
including facilities in the UK, America, South Africa and India. The company has also
formed partnerships over time with Russian and Chinese producers.

In the mid 1990s, BMW bought Rover from British Aerospace. However, the
company struggled to find a role for the English brands and make a profit. In 2000 it
disposed of Rover to Phoenix Venture Holdings and sold the Land Rover brand to
Ford. However, BMW retained the Mini, Triumph and other brands. BMW has since
successfully rekindled the Mini brand and also gone on to secure full use of the Rolls
Royce brand (in 2003).

From its humble origins as pre-First World War makers of aircraft and aircraft engines,
BMW has survived as a result of post-war entrepreneurial spirit and grown rapidly to
become a major global player in the prestige car market.

Book your BMW service with confidence

So when you book your next BMW service, you can be confident that Service A Car
understands the heritage of BMW and conducts BMW servicing with the passion and
precision your prestige car deserves.

Happy motoring,

Howard.
Chairman Service A Car

				
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