The story of BMW begins in 1913, when Karl Rapp formed the Rapp Motorenwerke company. Engaged in the production of aircraft engines, the firm was located at a former bicycle factory near Munich. Close by, Gustav Otto established his Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG factory. In 1922 the two companies merged in order to form Bayerische Motoren Werke — BMW.
For the few years of its existence, BMW continued to produce aircraft engines and the occasional motorcycle engine. The BMW logo accurately represents a spinning aircraft propeller, carried over from the company’s origins. It was in 1928, when BMW bought a car factory, that they began to produce their first automobiles. Along with their purchase of the factory, BMW also bought the license to a tiny car known as the Dixi. Their first cars were therefore BMW Dixis, although they soon dropped this moniker and introduced a new model, the BMW 3/15 DA-2. The success of this little car is what allowed the company to survive through the great depression that followed.
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