BMW, otherwise known as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, is one of the leading manufacturers of performance road vehicles and motorcycles in Germany. Based in Munich, BMW was established in March 1916, with its original remit to provide aircraft engines.
As of 2017, BMW was the 14th most proactive manufacturer of road vehicles, with a string of household brands owned by BMW including Mini and Rolls-Royce. Although BMW is headquartered in Munich, it is also a prominent producer of automobiles in the Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Dutch, South African, British and American markets. One of BMW’s most prominent shareholders is the Quandt family, who saved the manufacturer from bankruptcy in the late 1950s. In terms of BMW’s future plans, it is set to join forces with Toyota to develop vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells by 2025.
Looking at the BMW (ETR: BMW) stock history, it is another major European stock that experienced booms in the early 2000s before a crash in the BMW share price during H2 2002. It fell from a high of €47.04 to a low of €23.45, effectively halving in value in less than six months.
The BMW stock had a similar fate following the onset of the global financial crash. The BMW share price broke the €50 barrier in May 2007 before plunging throughout 2008 to lows of just €20.49. Its post-2008 recession recovery was strong, with the BMW share price peaking at an all-time high of €119.95 in March 2015. It hasn’t looked likely to retest that price ever since and, like many performance vehicle manufacturers, hit upon hard times around the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. From January 10 2020, the BMW stock was worth €74.57 and by March 13 2020 it was worth €45.42).
The biggest competitors of the BMW Group include some of Europe’s other leading manufacturers of performance automobiles. Fellow German brand, Mercedes-Benz, has to be its number-one competitor. However, Porsche is also a major player in European performance vehicles. It too is a German brand, having been established in Stuttgart in April 1931.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is another major automobile brand which plays a key role in the European automotive market. The Italian-American brand specialises in performance automobiles and commercial vehicles. BMW and Fiat Chrysler have a history of working together on pioneering advancements in automotive technology. The duo has joined forces to test the next generation of autonomous vehicles that are set to drop within the coming years.
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