BMW showroom in Berlin, 1929
March 22, 1929: the first BMW automobile rolls out of the production hall in Berlin
Production hall of the BMW 3/15 PS, Berlin Johannistal, 1929

75 Years of BMW Automobile

The very first BMW automobile rolled out of the production hall 75 years ago. The model, the BMW 3/15 PS, was produced in Berlin.


BMW had been building engines and motorcycles for some time, but this was the first automobile. This model, nicknamed "Dixi", had a full steel chassis and was built by BMW under license from Austin. During the international tour of the Alps in 1929, which snaked its way through the high mountain passes for five days, the 3/15 PS won in its first attempt. The car thus proved its reliability and – despite the world economic crisis – guaranteed increasing revenues for BMW.

The design of the "Dixi" was considered simple, unobtrusive and conservative. In the 75-year history of the automobile manufacturer, BMW models were constantly evolving, always getting a new look – from the unusual "Isetta" (1955) to the BMW 1500 designed by Giovanni Michelotti (1961) and the most recent model, the X3 (2003). This variety of models is celebrated in the anniversary year 2004: BMW cars from every decade will be shown during the road show "2000 kilometers through Germany" in July.