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BMW And The American Identity

BMW And The American Identity

Photo by Josh Naidoo on Unsplash


BMW and the American Identity go hand-in-hand. You know we appreciate our BMWs at Brown Motor Works Northeast in Columbia, SC. But even for those less interested in the BMW, it’s hard to deny the influence BMW has had on American culture and tradition. Let’s take some time to highlight historical reasons why BMW is foreign-made but could still be considered an American classic.

BMW and American History

BMW is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, and their first vehicles were designed and manufactured in Germany in 1916. This was just before the 1920s when America would become the international hot spot for automobile innovation and manufacturing. 

Forty years after being founded, the first BMWs began to sell in the US, and the first BMW dealer opened in 1975. The luxury car brand had no problem selling out here, and in 2021 nearly 337,000 BMWs were sold in America. Now, many BMWs are even made here in the US. 

The Culture and Tradition of BMW

BMW is more than just its history, though. There’s something about a BMW that, though a German vehicle, reminds us of American culture and tradition. Maybe it’s the many appearances of BMWs in our classic cinema, from Fast and Furious to James Bond. Or, it could be the mention of it in hip-hop and rock music, such as Heavy D’s reference in Chunky But Funky (“We cruisin’ around in my BMW!”) or Beastie Boys mentioned in the 3-Minute Rule (“But you’re looking so fly in your BMW”). It could even be the breathtaking commercials they put out during the Superbowl every year, like this one from this year’s Super Bowl. Regardless of why we have associated this German-born car with American car culture, separating the two is hard. The influence of the BMW on pop-culture is ever-present and we can still see the BMW inspiring start-ups today. 

We Love BMWs Here at Brown Motor Works! 

If you want to pick our brains about the American car culture and tradition, come in and see us. And for all your car needs, we’re here for you, too! We highly encourage you to give our friendly staff a call or stop in whenever you have any doubts about your BMW. Brown Motor Works Northeast is located at 520 Clemson Rd., Columbia, SC 29229, but you can also schedule an appointment online. And don't forget to Like us on Facebook for news and updates. We specialize in BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Mini Coopers, so you can feel confident your vehicle is in good hands with our highly skilled technicians.


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