Overview and Philosophy
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, commonly known as BMW, is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company. BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
Founded on 7 March 1916 by founder Franz Josef Popp, BMW was established as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923, once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928–29
BMW has been engaged in motorsport activities since the dawn of the first BMW motorcycle in 1923.
- Dakar Rally – BMW motorcycles have won the Dakar rally six times. In 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1999, and 2000.
- Superbike World Championship – BMW returned to premier road racing in 2009 with their all new superbike, the BMW S1000RR.
BMW has a history of success in Formula One. BMW powered cars have won 20 races. In 2006 BMW took over the Sauber team and became Formula One constructors. In 2007 and 2008 the team enjoyed some success. The most recent win is a lone constructor team’s victory by BMW Sauber F1 Team, on 8 June 2008, at the Canadian Grand Prix with Robert Kubica driving.
BMW was an engine supplier to Williams, Benetton, Brabham, and Arrows. Notable drivers who have started their Formula One careers with BMW include Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, Robert Kubica andSebastian Vettel.
In July 2009, BMW announced that it would withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season. The team was sold back to the previous owner, Peter Sauber, who kept the BMW part of the name for the 2010 season due to issues with the Concorde Agreement. The team has since dropped BMW from their name starting in 2011.
BMW has a long and successful history in touring car racing. BMW announced on 15 October 2010 that it will return to touring car racing during the 2012 season. Dr. Klaus Draeger, director of research and development of the BMW Group, who was in charge of the return to DTM racing (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), commented that “The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities. With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots. The race track is the perfect place to demonstrate the impressive sporting characteristics of our vehicles against our core competitors in a high-powered environment. The DTM is the ideal stage on which to do this.”