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The BMW name has been associated with craftsmanship and utility for nearly a century. Founder Karl Rapp began the company in 1917 to help create aircraft engines for the German military during World War I. Many European auto companies began in a similar way but Rapp's vision was larger than working for his country's government. His team of engineers developed the company's first motorcycle in 1924 and the next three decades saw the brand name grow into a force in the European auto market. The diversity of BMW cars and specialty vehicles was born out of the adversity of creating products in a war ravaged area. The company's SUVs utilize a powerful V12 engine and possess a body constructed with safety in mind. The intense focus of the brand's engineers and mechanics has allowed its line of luxury sedans and coupes to take new markets by storm. The high popularity of the company's vehicles in the United States and Western Europe has led to the term "beemer" becoming a part of each region's vocabulary.

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