BMW

Bayerische Motorenwerke started out making airplane engines, but contrary to popular belief, the iconic blue and white badge is not an airplane propeller. The colours are simply the official colours of Bavaria. After World War II, the Treaty of Versailles mandated that no German company be allowed to produce airplanes, so BMW diversified and started building cars. In 1959, with BMW nearing bankruptcy, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler-Benz launched a hostile takeover attempt. This ultimately failed, but it did start the intense rivalry that exists between the two companies to this day. It’s manufacturing is huge, with approximately 1.85 million cars and 120,000 motorcycles produced across all of its brands.

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