The ‘Bimmer’ – shaken, not stirred

BMW is one of the most respected car brands in the world. But what makes them the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’? And can owning one be easier than you think?


Gabrielle Chariton

The year is 1999. The excitement – and dread – of the approaching new Millennium is reverberating across the world, but fortunately we ticked over without the chaos the Y2K tech bug was predicted to unleash. 

If you decided to hit the cinema for the latest James Bond feature that year, you would have seen Pierce Brosnan’s 007 in The World Is Not Enough. Notably, in one critical scene, James reverses an exquisitely styled silver two-seater roadster – a BMW Z8 to be exact – until it is sliced in half by a helicopter equipped with tree-cutting saws. James exasperatedly mutters, ‘Q’s not going to like this’. Yep, no-one wants a thing of such precision and excellence destroyed, even the British master spy himself. 

You see, that is the mark of a BMW, in culture and on film. For more than 100 years, the luxury car maker has been creating iconic and coveted motor transport. Vehicles that are individual, unique and unbreakably constructed (except perhaps by an unexpected aerial saw).

But what it is that makes the ‘Bimmer’ shine?


BMW made a name for itself in Hollywood for its feature in the 1999 James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough 


Bayerische Motoren Werke who?

The company that today produces the world’s ultimate driving machine actually began life as an aircraft engine manufacturer. Its distinguished history dates back to 1916, and the company evolved from a series of mergers and takeovers between German businesses originally established by Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. It traded under several different monikers until it found stability as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (or Bavarian Motor Works).

Even in its earliest days, the company’s core mandate was the pursuit of innovation. After supplying aircraft engines to the Prussian Army in World War I, BMW launched its first road vehicle, the R 32 motorcycle, in 1923. The mechanical design of this pioneering vehicle was so advanced that it is still used in today’s BMW motorcycles. 

Soon after, the company added car manufacturing to its repertoire, and while the first BMW car was built under licence from Austin in 1929, the company was producing models of its own design by 1932. The iconic blue-and-white logo (which represents the colours of Bavaria) soon became synonymous with excellence in engineering; a recognisable symbol of quality, prestige, and ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’. 

The company’s history is peppered with game-changing product releases that have redefined motoring. The BMW 328 sports car, released in 1936, for example, set new standards with its innovative lightweight chassis and aluminium cylinder heads. In 1999, BMW pioneered the Sports Activity Vehicle category with the release of the BMW X5. Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show to much fanfare, it offered drivers an unprecedented combination of BMW’s dynamics and sporting prowess within a sleek all-wheel drive, off-roader package. And the company has been leading the development of electric vehicles since the early 1970s: the all-electric BMW 1602e, silent and emission-free, drove ahead of endurance-event athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

The company’s history is peppered with game-changing product releases that have redefined motoring

The family tree

BMW M brings the excitement of the racetrack to your daily commute, with the ultimate combination of luxury, class and horsepower. BMW M grew from the company’s stellar motorsports heritage and includes a full range of highly covetable models. Turn heads in the convertible Z4 M40i; carve up the highway in the M235i xDrive Gran Coup é ; or power-up on the worksite or off-road in the X7 M50i. 

Electric vehicles, sold under the BMW i brand, are all about ‘the future of mobility’. This class-leading range of agile, nimble cars are designed to take city driving to the next level , offering true sustainability without compromising on performance. BMW i3 is powered by a snappy yet fully emission-free electric motor. The iX3 (scheduled for release in 2021) introduces the electric engine into a Sports Activity Vehicle, offering even more versatility in a smart, environmentally conscious package. 

The Bimmer’s little brother

From sleek roadsters to luxury sedans or off-roaders built as much for work as pleasure, there’s a BMW to suit the needs of every discerning driver – all offering the company’s trademark dynamic performance and enviable Bond-inspired styling. In recent years, BMW has expanded its fleet of brands, bringing a premium driving experience to an ever-broader audience. 

The emblem of urbane British sophistication, the MINI, took its place in the BMW stable in 2001. BMW transformed this English icon into the word’s first premium vehicle in the small-car segment. MINI is like the Bimmer’s cheeky little brother; its sporty, characterful design and youthful irreverence, combined with impressive under-bonnet credentials, have made MINI the prestige choice for a whole new generation.


Today, BMW is a global company, with manufacturing plants located in 14 countries


The adventurous two wheel cousin

Motorcycles in movies are also part of our moto-pop-culture psyche. The Wild One, Easy Rider, Mad Max and even Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, in the iconic Mission Impossible series. In the latest release Fallout, the love affair with BMW Motorrad continues, with the spy riding an R nineT Scrambler, exuding both style and swagger.

On every corner and every straight, around the world or just around the corner, BMW motorcycles also stand for safety, comfort, excellence in manufacturing and of course, pure riding enjoyment.

The ultimate for everyone

Today, BMW is a global company, with manufacturing plants located in 14 countries. It continues to push the boundaries of design, innovation and technology, with a forward-looking philosophy based on anticipating and meeting its customers’ changing needs. The company’s vision for tomorrow is bold, ambitious and enticing; BMW is leading the way in the development of autonomous, automated, connected and emission-free cars. 

The current fleet of BMW vehicles are intelligent and driver-centric: while not quite autonomous yet, they are engineered to deliver superior performance, safety, comfort and connectivity – for sheer driving pleasure. 

And now, that pleasure is yours for the taking. It’s easier and more affordable than ever to get behind the wheel of your dream car (or motorcycle in 2021), thanks to the BMW Corporate program, which is now available to HIA members. Representing significant value, the program offers savings on the cost of ownership and access to exclusive benefits, such as: 

  • 5 years/ 80,000km BMW Service Inclusive Package – Basic.*
  • Complimentary use of a BMW during scheduled servicing.**
  • Reduced dealer delivery of $1500 excluding taxes.
  • BMW Corporate benefits extended to your spouse.
  • Reduced rate on a BMW Driving Experience course.

To find out more visit or contact the dedicated Corporate Sales Manager at your preferred BMW Dealer. Alternatively, call 1800 635 750 or email 

*Complimentary basic scheduled servicing, including Vehicle Check, is valid from date of first registration for whichever comes first of 5 years/80,000kms, and is based on BMW Condition Based Servicing or Service Interval Indicator, as appropriate. Normal wear and tear items and other exclusions apply. Servicing must be conducted by an authorised BMW dealer. Consult your preferred BMW dealer for further terms and conditions. **Subject to vehicle availability and only available during the complimentary servicing period. The above benefits apply to the purchase of a new BMW vehicle and only to the vehicle purchased. Full terms and conditions can be viewed at

Not an HIA member yet? By joining Australia’s largest national association for the residential building industry, you’ll get access to a range of member benefits, as well as industry products and business services designed to help you manage, operate and grow.

Related Articles

Confidence and collaboration

How do you take an idea to a thriving reality? For HIA members Megan and Stewart of Baulch Services it’s about a unified team, expert advice and the courage to go the distance.

Plugged in: competitions

In the spirit of Christmas you might be feeling generous and wanting to run a giveaway on your social media pages, but make sure you’re covered legally if you do so and treat it as you would if it were a physical competition such as a raffle.

Concrete credibility

Holcim has published an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for its range of ready-mix concrete range known as ViroDecs™.

Galvanised and unified: IWD 2020

For International Women’s Day 2020, HOUSING chats with two professionals about their experiences in the building industry, highlighting their success as women in a man’s world.

Join more than 120,000 like-minded subscribers