The car that saved BMW – the BMW 700
In the 1950s and ‘60s the car world was evolving quickly. BMW was established as a maker of larger saloons, the 700 was its first proper foray into a market for cheap, reliable and small vehicles. Aimed as a competitor to the Mini, VW Beetle and Fiat 500 – it was car for the masses and the opposite to the German brand’s former stable.
The need for a smaller vehicle had been identified by the Quandt brothers – industrialists and BMW shareholders – and the pair supervised the 700’s development after their suggestion had been met apathetically by the remainder of the board. Strong sales figures following the car’s launch, saved BMW from the brink and cemented the Quandt family’s position as the company’s major shareholder. A position still enjoyed today.
If you were to compare the layout of the 700 to another car, it would have to be said the small car it most resembles is the VW Beetle. That’s where the similarities end however. When directly compared to the Volkswagen in terms of style however, the 700 boasts a whole lot more class up against the utilitarian design aspect of the Beetle.