The BMW name has become synonymous with luxury and performance. To Alpharetta drivers, the brand is a symbol of both. To competitors around the world, it is a benchmark that cannot easily be matched. To most people, though, it is simply an acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works.
BMW was founded in 1916, and the company began by producing aircraft engines for Germany during World War I. After the fighting ended, the company shifted to producing cars, and today it is a global automotive powerhouse that is also known for its motorcycles.
Today, the company produces vehicles in many countries around the globe, including South Carolina, where it assembles the X3, X4, X5, and X6. It also has a facility in Chennai that assembles Indian-market versions of the 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, and X3.
The iconic blue-and-white checkered spherical logo that represents BMW first appeared on products in 1917. It is not true that the logo depicts a rotating propeller, as some have claimed, but it was meant to suggest that the BMW engine would propel a vehicle through the air at high speeds. This interpretation was popularized in 1929 by a BMW ad, which featured an airplane with its logo superimposed over a propeller. This image became the basis for the BMW slogan that debuted in North America in 1974, although it was replaced by "Joy" for a few years. Today, the "The Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan remains in use through BMW advertisements.