Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) (English: Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1917. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands.
The English slang terms Beemer, Bimmer and Bee-em are variously used for BMWs of all kinds, cars, and motorcycles. In the US, specialists have been at pains to prescribe that a distinction must be made between using Beemer exclusively to describe BMW motorcycles, and using Bimmer only to refer to BMW cars, in the manner of a "true aficionado" and avoid appearing to be "uninitiated." The Canadian Globe and Mail prefers Bimmer and calls Beemer a "yuppie abomination," while the Tacoma News Tribune says it is a distinction made by "auto snobs." Using the wrong slang risks offending BMW enthusiasts. An editor of Business Week was satisfied in 2003 that the question was resolved in favor of Bimmer by noting that a Google search yielded 10 times as many hits compared to Beemer.
BMW has garnered a reputation over the years for its April Fools pranks, which are printed in the British press every year. In 2010, they ran an advert announcing that customers would be able to order BMWs with different coloured badges to show their affiliation with the political party they supported.