Along Herbert Quant, one man in specific is regarded as the spark that fueled the massive growth that soon made BMW the market leader it is today. He’s name was Kurt Golda, and he is often named as the man who pushed Quant to take BMW to new heights.
The first result of Golda’s and Quant’s efforts was BMW 700, a small, sporty car that used two cylinder, air cooled engines. The car was based on the BMW 600, and became a huge hit. It was later renamed to BMW LS, and was available for a long time in drop-top and coupe versions as well.
1963 was another big year for BMW. It’s the first year in which BMW was able to offer dividends to it’s shareholders. The growth continued throughout the sixties, and finally in 1966 BMW outgrew its main factory in Munich. Since the facility has reached it’s maximum capacity, BMW acquired Hans Glas GmbH in an attempt to increase it’s production potential. The deal with Hans Glas made factories and production facilities in both Dingolfing and Landshut available for BMW’s booming car business.
Success in the sixties
As much success BMW had in the sixties, the following decade was the one in which BMW made the biggest progress yet. The decade brought new, sleek and modern designed cars that took it’s aesthetic cues from famous Italian designer Bertone. Early in the seventies, BMW introduced one of their longest lived and most sought after lines – the BMW Series 5. The success BMW enjoyed in the seventies was such that they were able to take another large chunk of the auto market by purchasing the Rover Group from one of their traditional competitors, the British Aerospace. However, the Rover deal didn’t live up to it’s potential and the Bavarian company had to cut it’s losses by selling Rover to a joint venture founded by Ford Motor Company and Phoenix Venture Holdings. The losses Rover brought to BMW were so big that the German press often called it “The English Patient” – it never seemed to be able to become healthy. However, BMW came out of the deal largely unaffected and unharmed.
BMW in USA
1994 was another landmark year for BMW. In 1994 BMW opened it’s first factory outside of Germany. The first production facility abroad for BMW was opened in South Carolina, and it manufactured vehicles for BMW’s USA division. The move enabled BMW to start moving onto the US market more aggressively, and they soon managed to take a large portion of the luxury vehicle market. The factory that made it all possible is remarkably still open, and continues to produce BMW Z4 and X5 cars for the American market to this day.
The success of the South Carolina factory encouraged BMW to invest in the US market even more, and they soon opened new factories in Oxford, Goodwood and other places. Soon, they further expanded their business by opening production lines in South Africa. These moves helped BMW to become an international automotive leader it is today.