Bavarian Motor Works (BMW): An Analysis on its Success as a Multinational Enterprise
BMW Group manufactures products under three brands: BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW is a Multinational Enterprise that has been manufacturing and marketing luxury products for about a century. The company is currently the largest premium car maker in the world, followed closely by Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Their headquarters are located in Munich, Germany, and the building itself is also a well-designed masterpiece allowing visitors a glimpse inside the techniques utilized to keep BMW a true competitor on the global scale. This ...view middle of the document...
Because of Rapp Motorenworke’s Bavarian roots, the company used the blue and white colors in the flag of Bavaria when creating the logo for BMW. The logo was meant to depict the movement of an aircraft propeller with the white blades cutting through a blue sky. After Germany lost World War I, the Versailles Treaty was enacted which prohibited German companies from producing aircraft vehicles and aircraft engines. This left BMW without any means of sustaining its business and income. In spite of these challenges, by the year 1928 BMW had found its way into the automotive industry. The first car was an Austin Seven built under license. However, it was this 2-liter sports car which garnered a positive reputation for the company in the automotive industry in 1936. The legendary car, referred to as the BMW 328 revolutionized the two liter sports car up until 1940. This elegant and sleek sports car had strong presence in motor racing and took a class victory in the famous European racing event, “Mille Miglia” (Wan).
After another World War struck the country, BMW encountered some financial difficulty. From 1939 to 1945 BMW produced the 132 and 801 radial engines for the Focke-Wulf 190 and the BMW 003 gas turbine engine which was the first jet to fly in a combat aircraft. 1940 was a monumental year for the automobile company because it was the first year that BMW expanded globally. The company took on its first foreign workers and employed them on the factory floor. In the year 1942, the workforce changed and convicts, Eastern European prisoners of war, and Western European forced laborers were made to work at BMW alongside concentration camp prisoners. As in the majority of German industries, the company’s management had a technological approach and focused entirely on efficiency. The use of forced labor was approved and accepted. During the Third Reich, forced laborers worked in deeply distressing conditions (Munich-Allach). Today, BMW is painfully aware of the great human suffering caused by this, and deeply regrets the fate of the forced laborers and has since adopted policies banning these practices.
Towards the end of World War II the United States military and government issued a command for dismantling the BMW plants in Munich and Allach. This meant that BMW lost the power of disposal over its assets until 1949. BMW lost its main Eisenach car plant to the Russian sector. Its Munich plant was heavily damaged and all worthwhile machinery taken as war reparations. During this crisis, the company got by producing pots, pans, spades and bicycles. After a few years the company generated enough profit to get back into the auto scene and produced its first postwar bike in 1947 and its first postwar car in 1948, the BMW 501 six cylinder. However, the company was still facing a financial crisis and in 1959, BMW was on the verge of being taken over by Daimler-Benz. In 1962 BMW did a marketing revitalization and declared themselves as makers of...