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5090 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA, 92111

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Fri9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Sun11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • SunClosed

What Does BMW Stand For?

Overhead view of the front end of the new BMX X7

BMW is more than a brand name. For many of our neighbors in the San Diego, CA area, those three letters represent a commitment to quality that transcends their daily commutes. But what does BMW stand for anyway? Enthusiasts and experts know that BMW is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works in English. In some cases, you might see BMW appended by AG, or Aktiengesellschaft. This translates roughly to a “joint-stock company.”

Now that you’ve got the basics down, we wouldn’t be surprised if you were ready to dig a little deeper! Find out how BMW got its name, and learn more with the team at BMW of San Diego.

How Did BMW Get Its Name?

You know what the letters “BMW” stand for, and since you know that Bayerishe means Bavarian, you also know where the company got its start! Even so, you might still wonder how the name earned the reputation is has today. For more than 100 years, Bavarian Motor Works has manufactured some of the world’s most impressive cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and aircraft engines. The story begins in Munich, in 1913:

  • In 1913, Karl Rapp started the Rapp Motorenwerke company, which focused on the production of aircraft engines.
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke was adopted as the company’s name in 1917, when Rapp left the company to pursue other projects.
  • The name change makes sense: Munich is, after all, the capital of the German state of Bavaria. (Bavaria is located in the southeastern part of Germany, near Austria and the Czech Republic.)
  • The Blue and White circular BMW logo dates all the way back to 1917, too! It’s based on the Bavarian flag, which features blue and white checkers in a diamond pattern.

Now that you’ve learned a little history, find out where BMW is made today.

What Does the BMW Logo Stand For?

No BMW car or SUV would be complete without its iconic blue and white badging, but what does the BMW logo stand for? As we noted above, the colors and the patterning were inspired by the Bavarian flag. However, for many enthusiasts, this is just part of the story:

  • Over the years, a wide range of enthusiasts and experts have suggested that the BMW logo is based on an airplane’s propeller, set spinning against clear blue sky.
  • For official BMW representatives, this similarity is simply a “happy coincidence.” Even so, we we love that this story harkens back to the brand’s roots as a manufacturer of aircraft engines.

Fans of the brand will also note that the BMW logo was redesigned in 2020! The flatter, simpler design reflects a general turn towards minimalism as a marker of luxury and quality, a turn which BMW already reflects in their vehicles.

What is the BMW Slogan?

If you drive with BMW, then you probably already know that your vehicle is “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” That’s a slogan that originated right here in North America, all the way back in 1974. It was developed by Bob Lutz, a former executive vice president of global sales and marketing, and it immediately struck a chord with American consumers.

Have there been other BMW slogans in English? Although several alternatives have been proposed and tested over the years, none has had the same staying power! Have you ever heard the lines, “Sheer Driving Pleasure,” or “Joy is BMW”? Although each received a short run around 2010, BMW recommitted to the “The Ultimate Driving Machine” in 2012–and it’s still the slogan that’s used today!

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BMW of San Diego 32.828527, -117.144328.