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In 1916 the Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke AG (BFW) aircraft firm was set up. In 1917 Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) was formed. In 1922 the firms combined, and were set up at the Munich Oberwiesenfeld airfield, using the blue and white logo familiar today. In 1923 BMW made its first motorcycle, the R32, followed in 1928 by car production. The Austin Seven was licence-built at Eisenach in Thuringia, as the Dixi, followed by BMW's own designs from 1932. Aero engines were made in Munich, and more plants were added during the Second World War, employing large numbers of slave labourers. Due to its support for the Nazi war effort, the Munich plant was dismantled after the war, and the Eisenach plant found itself in the Russian Zone. In 1948 motorcycle production re-started at Munich, followed by the first postwar car, the 501, in 1952. It didn't sell well, so the firm turned to licence production of the Italian-designed Isetta bubble car. On the verge of financial collapse in 1959, BMW rejected a takeover from Daimler-Benz. The new BMW 700 helped to rescue the company. The big turning point came in 1961 with the successful four-door BMW 1500, which brought BMW into profit. The expansion of sales with the new car range meant that more production space was needed, so in 1967 BMW acquired the Hans Glas car firm, building a large new factory on their Dingolfing site, and motorcycle production moved to Berlin. The car ranges expanded with the 3-Series, 5-Series, 6-Series and 7-Series, followed by M-Series high performance versions, Z-Series sports cars and X-series off-roaders. In 1994 BMW opened a US plant, and acquired Rover Group of the UK, which was sold in 2000. Only the MINI brand was retained, the cars produced in the Oxford plant. In 1998 BMW acquired the Rolls-Royce marque, opening a new factory at Goodwood in 2003. In 2004 the 1-Series was launched, completing the 1 to 7 range when the 2-Series and 4-Series were added.
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