Founded in 1916, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG ("Bavarian Motors Works" or BMW) is the oldest German automotive manufacturer, building automobiles, motorcycles and engines. BMW is the parent company of Mini and Rolls-Royce. Before World War I, BMW was part of the Rapp Motorenwerke group which built aircraft engines. After the war, the company was required to cease aircraft production and moved into motorcycles, splitting off from Rapp and then moving into automotive in 1928 after post-war restrictions were lifted.
As an automaker, however, BMW did not become renowned until after World War II when production of small city and efficient commuter cars was augmented and then largely supplanted by the building of luxury vehicles. The acquisition of Hans Glas in 1956 added forward-thinking engine development to the company's repertoire and by the 1970s, BMW had solidified its name as a luxury carmaker with signature German handling and performance as their hallmark.
BMW is a charter member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Achievement Track and is world-renowned for its corporate sustainability practices and clean manufacturing processes. For eight years running, up to 2012, BMW was named the world's most sustainable automotive company by Dow Jones and it was the first car company to appoint an environmental officer, doing so in 1973. BMW ranks third in all industries in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.
BMW currently manufactures cars globally, including at their facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina (the Greer plant). The facility produces the X3, X5, X6 and upcoming X4 models.