As an introduction to the BMW Auto Group Company, According to the company overview from Business Week, Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW group) manufactures automobiles and motorcycles worldwide. The activities of the BMW Group are divided into three segments that include the Automobiles, the Motorcycles, and the Financial Services segments. The Automobiles segment is involved in the development, manufacture, assembly, and sale of cars and off-road vehicles, under the brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, as well as spare parts and accessories. BMW and MINI brand products are sold in Germany through branches of BMW AG and by independent, authorized dealers. Rolls-Royce brand vehicles are sold in the USA through a subsidiary company and elsewhere by independent, authorized dealers. The BMW Motorcycles segment engages in the development, manufacture, assembly and sale of BMW brand motorcycles, as well as spare parts and accessories. Also, the Financial Services segment focuses primarily on leasing automobiles, providing loan finance for retail customers and dealers, accepting customer deposits and insurance activities. The BMW Group operates in the world markets with 22 production and assembly plants, 34 sales subsidiaries and a research and development network.
History of BMW collected from bmw.com and bmwusa.com. BMW was founded in Munich, Germany, in1916 as an aircraft manufacturer. BMW is an acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Bavarian Motor Works Auto Group. The German-based company is one of the world's most esteemed automakers, notorious for crafting luxury cars and SUVs that offer superior levels of driving enjoyment. Hence, the company's current slogan, BMW The Ultimate Driving Machine. BMW's current logo, designed to represent white propeller blades against a blue sky, reflects these origins; its blue-and-white color scheme also references Bavaria's blue-and-white checkered flag. BMW was forced to stop producing airplane engines as an agreement in the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. BMW began building motorcycles after World War I. Its motorcycle brand is now known as BMW Motorrad. Their first successful motorcycle was the "R32" in 1923. In 1928 the production began on the first BMW automobile, the Dixi. The car proved vastly popular, and its success helped the manufacturer weather the Great Depression. In the early 1950s, BMW launched the BMW 501, a roomy sedan that was gleaming with all of the prosperity of that era. It was soon followed by the 502 which was powered by the world's first light-alloy V8, foreshadowing BMW's ongoing commitment to developing new technology. In 1959 the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find a way of carrying on. So, the rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta were bought. The Isetta became one of the best selling cars of the decade. The tiny two-seater "microcar" was powered by a modified form of BMW's own 12- or 13-horsepower engine motorcycle engine.The success of the Isetta pushed BMW back to its feet. By the 1970s, BMW was establishing itself as a full-fledged car company. BMW became the pioneer for many emerging technologies, from turbocharging to other advanced vehicle electronics. This was also the period when BMW of North America was established and consumers, who coveted both sports and luxury cars, became loyal "Bimmer" owners. The '70s also saw the birth of BMW's three-tier sport sedan range consisting of the 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series cars and the creation of its performance M division. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group and owned it for six years. In March 1995, the BMW U.S. Plant was built in Spartanburg, SC. The plant started solely making the BMW 3 series, then exclusively making the Z3 until it went out of production in 2006.Now the Spartanburg plant makes all of the world's X5's, X6's, and Z4's. In 1998 BMW acquired the British car company Rolls-Royce. BMW also retained the rights to build the new MINI, which was launched in 2001. BMW Group introduced new variants of its 5 Series sedan in July 2008. The new variants, BMW 520d, 530d and 530d Highline powered by diesel engines.
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Although the BMW Group has suffered during this time of recession the company still thrives and continues to produce innovative automobiles and motorcycles. The company's free cash flows have had ups and downs. Peaking in 2007 the company saw a drastic fall in 2008 and early 2009. The cash flows have been on the raise since spring 2009. The rise and fall can seemingly be attributed to the state of the economy.
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