BMW was founded in 1913 by Karl Friedrich Rapp, an aero engineer. The company was named Rapp Motoren Werke and was located in Milbertshofen, Germany. After Germany lost World War I, aircraft construction was halted as a condition of the Treaty of Versailles. This forced the company, by then titled Bayerische Motoren Werke, to shift their focus to railroad brakes. From there they went on to motorcycle engines and then motorcycles.
In 1928 BMW bought an automotive company, Dixi, and produced their first car, the BMW 3/15. World War II redirected their attention away from cars and back to cycles and airplanes and they wouldn’t produce another car until 1952.
Although BMWs are now manufactured all over the world, the BMW logo is a sign of their heritage. The blue and white roundel stands both for the flag of Bavaria and also depicts a white spinning propeller against a blue sky. Today's models are some of the most dependable and stylish vehicles on the road.