A Company – a Hundred Years – an Exhibition


Munich, Germany
2016 is an important year for the BMW Group: The company recently celebrated its centenary. The BMW Museum in Munich is now bringing this century of company history alive in all its facets with the exhibition “100 Masterpieces. BMW Group – 100 years of innovative strength and entrepreneurial courage”. The exhibition will run until September 2017, giving visitors the opportunity to find out about the most important vehicles, motor-sport successes and company decisions of the BMW Group. The new exhibition provides exciting insights into the historical development and mobility history from 1916 to 2016. It uses selected “masterpieces” to take visitors through the individual eras of the past century up to the present day.

100 years of innovative strength and entrepreneurial courage

The history of the BMW Group started with the construction of aero-engines in 1916. BMW started manufacturing motorcycles in 1923 and the first automobile already rolled out of the production buildings five years later. Since then the brands and the products have been fascinating people, arousing emotions and have represented iconic quality. Yet the success of a company like this cannot simply be assessed on the basis of the most successful vehicles. Courage, the readiness to take risks at the highest level of management, milestones in motor sport, and the special commitment and innovative strength of employees are absolutely key factors – paradigmatic “masterpieces”. As highlighted in the title of the exhibition, these “100 masterpieces” accompany visitors through one hundred years of BMW history. “Bringing the dynamic history of the company to life across the entire spectrum was a challenging and fulfilling mission. Yet the unique exhibition concept enabled us to succeed in choreographing this diversity within a distinguished framework that showcases each era and each facet of the company,” commented Gabriele Fink, Head of BMW Museum and Marketing BMW Group Classic.

At the beginning of the exhibition, visitors come into the Museum Bowl through a Time Tunnel. Visitors are provided with a brief overview of 100 years of historical development and mobility history. The exhibits are curated in the Museum Bowl on a total of five platforms, each of which represents a particular era of company history. Visitors here see more than 30 vehicles including the BMW 328 (1936), the legendary roadster BMW 507 (1955) and the cult bubble car BMW Isetta (1955). Design studies like the “Gina” concept car (2008) with its visionary outer skin made of flexible textile fabric are included among the exhibits. Theme boards also provide information about important entrepreneurial milestones like the introduction of BMW healthcare (1936) and BMW EfficientDynamics (2007). The exhibition primarily highlights the fact that the employees have always been the key factor for the success of Bayerische Motoren Werke with their passion and enthusiasm. This is still the case today. Equal prominence is given to engineering achievements and the most important motor sport successes like the Paris-Dakar Rally (1981). These 100 masterpieces are not simply restricted to the exhibition spaces in the Museum Bowl, they also form a continuing theme uniting the areas of the permanent exhibition in the BMW Museum.

Reopening of the company history room

Alongside the centenary exhibition, visitors also have the opportunity to experience the redesigned room of company history in the museum from April. This exhibition is entitled “Visions. Driving Force. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.” Enthusiasts can go on a spatial and media journey through time. Visitors can use touchscreens to delve deep into the past of the company. The entire room is framed by illuminating epoch rings which extend across the floor, the walls and the ceiling. They develop the history of the BMW Group in the direction of the present, while the future visions of the individual eras are reproduced in a tone and sound installation.

The exhibition entitled “100 Masterpieces” runs from 10 March 2016 to the end of September 2017 in the BMW Museum. Entry costs 10 euros. The BMW Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays from 10:00 to 18:00.

BMW Museum – Hands-on history

Visitors of all ages can explore the past, present and future of the BMW brand at BMW Welt, the BMW Museum and the BMW plant. The BMW Museum plays an important role in this. Since re-opening in 2008, it has been successfully presenting the history of BMW and offering a glimpse of the future. The museum also explores the theme of mobility for the benefit of younger visitors. The Junior Museum organizes a special program for children and young people, basing its educational concept on learning through play. The museum also has a history of its own: it is one of the oldest automobile museums in Germany, was built in 1973 and declared a historic monument in 1999.

The BMW Group

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2015, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.247 million cars and nearly 137,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2014 was approximately € 8.71 billion on revenues amounting to € 80.40 billion. As of 31 December 2014, the BMW Group had a workforce of 116,324 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.