in full Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
Founded as an aircraft engine manufacturer in 1916, the company assumed the name Bayerische Motoren Werke and became known for its high-speed motorcycles in the 1920s. During World War II, BMW built the world's first jet airplane engines for the Luftwaffe. It suffered financially in the postwar period but recovered after 1959 with a new line of conventionally designed high-performance cars. The company's turnaround was also credited to German entrepreneur Herbert Quandt, who purchased a controlling share of BMW's stock in 1959. In the 21st century the firm's brands included BMW cars and motorcycles, MINI automobiles, and Rolls-Royce . Members of the Quandt family continued to hold a significant stake in the company.