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What Does BMW Stand for?

If you’re new to the BMW brand or are just curious to know more about the luxury sedan or SUV you drive around San Francisco, you may have asked yourself: What does BMW stand for? A foreign brand, BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates from German to Bavarian Motor Works. When written in German, the BMW brand name is unique in that Motorenwerke is usually meant to be all one word. Learn more about what BMW stands for and how the historic luxury brand got its name with the team at East Bay BMW!

Where Does the BMW Name Come From?

As one of the oldest luxury auto brands around, the BMW origins date back to over 100 years ago with a few different companies that manufactured vehicles and aircraft engines. Take a moment to read more about the early days of BMW:

  • Karl Rapp founded the Rapp Motorenwerke company in 1913, which manufactured aircraft engines in Munich, Germany. When Rapp left the company in 1917, the name was changed to Bayerische Motoren Werke.
  • “Bayerische” which translates to “Bavarian” is a nod to the company’s headquarters in Bavaria, a southeastern German federal state bordering Austria and the Czech Republic.
  • The iconic BMW logo we know and love was first introduced in 1917! Representing the Bavarian flag, the circular logo wears a blue and white checkered diamond pattern.
  • BMW actually isn’t the company’s full name –– it is BMW AG. What does the “AG” stand for? Aktiengesellschaft, which directly translates to “joint-stock company,” signifying that BMW is an incorporation owned by shareholders.

What is a Bimmer? What is a Beemer?

Ever heard someone talking about BMW and use the terms “Beemer” or “Bimmer?” It may sound like nonsense, but both terms are actually slang for a BMW motorcycle or BMW automobile in English. Perhaps not surprisingly, some San Jose and Dublin BMW enthusiasts are in disagreement over the proper usage of the terms. Some might tell you that “Beemer” only refers to motorcycles and “Bimmer” only to cars, but our Canadian neighbors up north tend to believe that one can use “Bimmer” in reference to both cars and motorcycles.

What is the BMW Slogan?

BMW boasts a pretty epic slogan: “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” The slogan was first created in North America in 1974. A shorter slogan, “Joy,” was introduced in 2010, but it had an equally short run and was soon changed back to the original 1974 slogan in 2012.

Discover Your Ultimate Driving Machine at East Bay BMW

If after answering the question “What does BMW mean?” you’re eager to get behind the wheel of an ultra-fast and luxurious BMW vehicle, head to East Bay BMW for the next steps! Explore our full BMW inventory while you’re here and learn more about our lease and finance offers. Want to continue exploring BMW information? Check out our online information center to read features on BMW software, compare BMW XDrive vs. SDrive, and more!

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