Bavarian Motor Works, or BMW AG, as they are universally called, started as an aircraft engine manufacturer over a century ago. The company made a significant progress within 3 years, but then World War I was over, and the Germans had to cease aircraft production. BMW was forced to urgently switch to manufacturing motorcycles and farm equipment. In late 1920-s the company purchased a number of automobile enterprises, and 10 years later it became the largest automotive corporation in Europe. After World War II automobile production was partly banned, but BMW was able to survive and get back to lead positions in the automotive industry by the 1960-s. Since 1999 it has remained the most sustainable car manufacturer in the world. It fights for a cleaner environment, sponsoring projects for alternative fuels. Over 26,000 electric and hybrid-powered cars were sold in the first quarter of 2018.
BMW currently produces motor vehicles in Europe, Asia, Africa and even in the United States being an abiding competitor for Mercedes-Benz. In 2016 the company produced more than 2.4 million vehicles, the production outlook to 2020 is already at least 3 million. There is every reason for such an optimistic forecast. Every year BMW raises its turnover and net profit - according to the 2017 data, the company's net income amounted to £8.7 billion.
The company has over 170,000 employees around the world. It is not just a business of automobile, motorcycle and bicycle manufacturing. In 2011 the company started DriveNow service, a car-sharing joint-venture with Sixt. It was originally launched in Munich, now it operates in 12 European cities more. In 2016 its subsidiary ventured into the American market - its services are available in 3 cities of the country. Subsequently, the company targets at developing its own fleet of vehicles for car-sharing in other countries and continents.
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