BMW facts & its special building in the shape of an inline-four engine


Posted by: Kennedy Ilediagu

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Many ardent fans of the BMW do not know so much about the car, that is why we are bringing you 9 BMW facts you never knew of, including pictures of its one-off headquarter building in Munich!

BMW has remained one of the most popular car brands in the last century. Going head to head with other German automakers like Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen, they have proved to be a force to reckon with. In the early 80's, the most common models you find on Nigerian roads were Peugeot and Benz. But after the 1999 partnership with Coschasris group, the German car manufacturer made a grand return into the Nigerian auto market - never to leave again. With the company attracting more customers regularly, it's important that they get to know a thing or two about their favorite car brand. Therefore, here arefacts about BMW you probably never knew, brought to you by Naijauto team!

1. BMW is 103 years old - 16 years older than VW

Three friends - Camilio Castiglioni, Karl Rapp and Joseph Popp - came together to start an auto company in 1916. They called it BMW. They initially wanted to focus on manufacturing a wide range of machines and mechanical equipment. In their first few years, they had produced and launched agricultural machines, railway brakes, bus and truck engines, pumps and the BMW Illa aircraft engine. At this time, the First World War was ongoing, so they were actually making a lot of money manufacturing these engines for the German military. They only started making cars in the early 1930s.


These are three men that set the very first steps for BMW

>>> We have plenty of car fact posts on Naijauto. Take your time! Facts about Land Rover: who founded it, where it produces cars & more

2. BMW is an acronym for Bavarian Motor Works

When Joseph, Camilio and Karl founded BMW, they named it Bayerische Motoren Werke, which means Bavarian Motor Works. The name was a mouthful at first, and actually was taken from the companies owned by the 3 friends - Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, Rapp Motorenwerke and Automobilwerk Eisenach. But when Karl left a year later, they shortened it to BMW to make it easy for customers to mention.

3. BMW made its first car over a decade after inception

Due to financial benefits of making aircraft and truck engines in the early 19th century, BMW didn't bother delving into different automotive niches. But after German companies were banned from manufacturing aircrafts and aircraft engines in the Treaty of Versailles (post World War), the brand shifted focus to making motorcycles and cars. The Austin 7 brand licensed the Dixi 3/15 car and in 1927 BMW took over the brand. That automatically made all Dixi 3/15 cars, BMW 3/15 models.

Five years later, BMW decided to make its own cars and launched the BMW 3/20 - the first car full designed and produced by BMW. Though the company kept making aircraft engines till 1945.

4. The colours on the BMW logo represents native Germans

The BMW logo which has blue and white quarter-circles embedded in a black round background doesn't represent a propeller that spins - as people thought. The black round background was a part of the Rapp company logo. Then the Bavarian blue and white national colours were added to it. Bavarians believe they are the native Germans. That's why the words "Bavaria", "Bayern" and "Bayerische" most times, represent Deutscheland. The headquarters of BMW is also located in Bavaria state, Germany.


The BMW logo carries Bavarian colors

>>> Volkswagen is the brand that has most shocking car facts: "People's Car" was founded by Adolf Hitler & other astounding facts about Volkswagen

5. The second gen of electric cars was produced by BMW in 1972

In 1828, the first ever electric car was made. But it didn't find its footing in the automotive market. In 1972, BMW tried to bring back the electric vehicle models. It was applauded by lots of critics at the time, but it couldn't last up to 30 minutes and the version eventually failed. Many electric cars currently, share certain features with the failed BMW electric vehicle. This definitely shows that the German automaker has been ahead of the game.

6. Rolls Royce and Land Rover are owned by BMW

In 1998, the Rolls Royce brand was going bankrupt and sought a takeover. BMW came for them while Volkswagen took over the Bentley division of the English car brand. Four years prior, BMW had bought the Rover group, a popular British car manufacturer. This made them the parent owners of the Land Rover, Rover MG and Mini Cooper cars. It's worthy to note that the first Rolls Royce car made under the BMW brand is the Rolls Royce Phantom - produced 5 years after the take over.

7. The fastest motorcycle in the 1930s was made by BMW

In 1937, the BMW Motorrad division wanted to make the fastest motorcycle ever. They succeeded. The bike can run over 170 miles per hour. That's a truly impressive number at the time.


This BMW R7 model was the most-talked-about motorcycle during 1930s

8. Mercedes Benz almost took over BMW

In the 1950s, BMW ran into heavy debts and Mercedes Benz took advantage of that and almost bought the company. Shareholders didn't like Benz due to the endless rivalry between both brands. They invested extra funds into BMW to ensure it bounces back - and it did (thanks to Quandit). But there are still rumours that Benz is still looking for possible ways to take over BMW as a way of silencing competition.

>>> Many people still hold these beliefs, are you included? Check here: Top 8 common car facts that are actually not true

9. The BMW headquarter building is shaped like an inline-four engine

BMW is also known for making some of the finest inline cylinder engines - like the inline 4 and 6. They thought to reflect that in architecture as well. Therefore, they made sure their headquarters in Munich was built like an 4-cylinder engine. Beside it is a building shaped like the brand's logo as well.


The BMW headquarters looks like one of their famous inline engines 

>>> Read more car fun facts and update latest auto news right here on!

Kennedy Ilediagu
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Kennedy Ilediagu

Kennedy Ilediagu


Kennedy Ilediagu is an experienced wordsmith and a creative automotive writer for His forte ranges from vehicle maintenance and latest industry updates, to car review articles. He is also a brand management and content creation expert who has worked with Daily Posts (United Kingdom), ESUT Egg Day magazine, and many others for years. Digital copies written by him inform, educate and engage readers globally. When Kennedy is not writing, he is busy taking care of animals, traveling or watching football.

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