Beamer Car │ Why Do People Call BMW A Beamer Car As Well?

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Outside Germany, most people know any BMW car as a beamer. Together with beamer, other spellings are bimmer and beemer. here, “Beamer” is a slang term used to describe BMW vehicles.

Key Takeaways

  • Most people use word beamer instead of BMW because it’s easier than pronouncing B-M-W
  • The world beamer has been around since the 1980s and has become a popular nickname for BMW cars
  • Initially, beamer was used to describe BMW motorcycles but overtime, the term has evolved and is now used to refer to all BMW vehicles

In this article, you’ll know why BMWs go by snappier, more fantastic nicknames. Also, you’ll see the origin of those nicknames. On top of that, this post will explain the BMW name and its history. In the end, you’ll get a suggestion of names you can call your BMW apart from beamer.

Something Worth Noting

It is incorrect for you to call a BMW a beamer car or a beemer car. Any BMW automobile feels better when you call it a bimmer. Beamer and beemer only apply for the BMW motorcycles, initially.

But really, that will only matter if you’re writing. When you’re speaking, all the nicknames sound the same. Don’t they?

Where The BMW Nickname Beamer Comes From

Beamer was born in Great Britain. And at the time, fans used the name to distinguish BMW motorcycles from Beezer. This was a British motorcycle company.

And why did Great Britain give BMW motorcycles that name? Well, they achieved great success on GB’s racing scene and became fan favorites.

The Races That Called BMW Motorcycles Beamers

In 1939, a non-British rider won the Senior Tourist Trophy. One George Meier used the BMW 255 Kompressor, and after that, many BMW riders won.  Until 1976, the BMW motorcycles had won more than 26 times.

The Races That Called BMW Motorcycles Beamers

A BMW motorcycle on the 1976 Tourist Trophy Championship.

Courtesy: BMW

After BMW’s success in the races, motorsport fans and riders coined beemer. As noted, this was inspired by the British company Beezer. Since it is troublesome to say BMW, you understand why Britain had to go with beemer.

So, BMW is to beemer as Beezer is to, well, Beezer.

How Beemer Became Beamer

There’s no reasonable explanation for beamer. It emerged as an alternative spelling that worked like beemer.

But things never changed in Germany. For them, BMW feels good on the tongue. Instead of Bee-Em-Double U, the German pronunciation is Bee-Em-Vee.

Why don’t you surprise other BMW enthusiasts with that excellent German pronunciation? Go for it!

Now, Here’s How Beemer Became Bimmer

In the 1970s, BMW cars were the in-thing in the US. And like the rest of the world, Americans called BMWs beamers. They had formed BMW clubs, and one of them was the Boston Chapter BMW club.

Since the 1970s, the Boston Chapters named their newsletter Bimmer. That move made the bimmer name famous.

On top of the newsletter, there was another magazine printed for BMW fans. When that hit the US shelves, the bimmer variation was the best. It was the most preferred, and it won over beamer and beemer.

Now, even Germans use the word beemer. How about that?

What Is Short For BMW? (The Name And Where It Comes From)

There’s no short for BMW, maybe beamer, beemer, or bimmer. But, BMW is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which is as German as it can get. And as mentioned, it’s Bee-Em-Vee for Germans, not Bee-Em-Double U.

What Is Short For BMW

Now, it’s time for you to know the story of BMW.

BMW (The Explanation)

Bayerischhe Motoren Werke GmbH is one of the biggest German automobile companies. In English, the phrase loosely translates to Bavarian Engine Works Company.

GmbH is the German equivalent of LLC, a limited liability company.

The name points to the origins of the company, which is the state of Bavaria in Germany. Also, it shows you that BMW was first in the business of making engines for different functions.

BMW And Plane Engines

The company you know today came from Rapp-Motorenwerke. Rapp was a World War I producer of plane engines to the German Empire. Since automobiles were not popular, Rapp’s did not produce car engines.

You’ve seen it in movies. In the early 20th Century, most people move by train. If they wanted to travel long distances, it was the only available option.

But times changed, and so did Rapp-Motorenwerke.

How Rapp-Motorenwerke Came To Be BMW AG

Here’s a table showing the journey the ‘beamer’ company took:

1917Rapp becomes Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) GmbH
1918BMW becomes Bayerische Motorenwerke AG (BMW AG)
1920BMW AG became Knorr-Bremse. This is a company that makes braking systems.
1916/1922Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW) gets its name from two companies:Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik (1916)Knorr-Bremse (1922)
1922BFW goes back to BMW AG. To date, that is the official name of the beamer car.

A Little Rapp-Motorenwerke History

Rapp had headquarters in Munich. There, they fitted engines into planes through a company known as Gustav Otto. But when Otto went bankrupt in 1916, it changed to BFW.

Rapp also followed, and it became BMW. Again, if you look at the logos together, you’ll see the resemblance:

A Little Rapp-Motorenwerke History

More on about BMW’s history here: How the BMW name came to be

What Should I Name My BMW?

So, your BMW is a beamer. But they’re many beamers out there, so you want yours to be unique. If you love cars, you know about personalization. That’s when a car owner gives his vehicles cool names. And that’s what this section is all about.

Here, you’ll get a list of the best BMW nicknames and how they rank among car lovers. We’ve ranked in alphabetical order, and you also get the yes/no votes.

As you can see, beemer/bimmer/beamer is the most popular nickname for BMWs.

Name You Can UseYes VotesNo Votes
Beach Cruiser1525
Ben 2532
Bethany 2941
Big Cooper 3342
Bond, James 6348
Boo 2834
Cheetah 48
Crop Top 1726
Drew 2235
Dubstep 1825
Fire 25
Ghost Driver 25
Johnny Rocket 59
Land Shark 1118
Mach 548
Mercury 25
Milkshake 2134
Minnie Driver2938
Pocket Rocket1221
Quick Silver711
Road Warrior2128
Smoke 47
Speed Demon1525
Speed Racer 48
Streak 25
Switch Blade1118
The Accelerator1727
The Blur711
The Bride2631
The Flash811
The Millennium Falcon510
The Ultimate 2228
Top Gun25
Unstoppable 1221

Credits: The Best BMW Car Nicknames For Your Driving Machine


You now know why people call BMW a beamer car. It all points back to the motorcycles, and it has never changed.

Beamers are beautiful, and so is their name. If you can’t say BMW, use any of the nicknames. I’m sure you’ll connect with people more. 

why people call BMW a beamer car

On top of the nickname, you can personalize your BMW (if you have one). From the table, pick any name and christen your vehicle. I’m sure you’ll impress other motorists when you call out your BMW as the Millennium Falcon.

And that was it!

Thanks for reading all the way. I’d love it if you shared it with other car lovers. But before you do, check out these other related articles:

1. German Car Brands

2. Famous Car Quotes and Sayings (Passion, IG, Movies, F&F, FB, WhatsApp Covered)