Bayerische Motoren Werke i.e. Bavarian Motor Works, the automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company was founded in 1916, starting as an aircraft-engine manufacturer.
Due to restrictions they shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 and consequently to automobiles in 1928 producing DIXI, effectively Austin 7, licensed from the Austin Motor Company.
In the thirties, BMW produced on of the eras most elegant cars 327, which could be ordered as a coupe or cabriolet. In addition, they campaigned 328 successfully in sports car racing, including Mille Miglia where a number of aerodynamic specials were introduced.
Post war era, saw BMW almost bankrupt before rising to its current status as one of the leading premium brands.