The first cars of every major car maker (Part 7)

BMW: Dixi 3/15 (1927)
BMW started out as a manufacturer of aircraft engines in 1916, in 1923 it launched its first motorcycle then in 1927 came the Dixi 3/15, BMW’s first car. It was an Austin Seven built under licence with barely any changes; aside from the steering wheel moving from the right to the left the two were pretty much interchangeable. bandar ceme online

Today Munich-based BMW is a highly successful maker of luxury cars, making 2.44 million vehicles in 2017. Ironically perhaps, it owned Austin’s successor company Rover between 1994 and 2000.

Volvo: OV4 (1927)
Founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson, Volvo built its first car in 1927. Called the OV4 and offered only as an open tourer, power came from a 1940cc four-cylinder engine with a peak power output of just 28bhp at 2800rpm.

Volvo was one of the first company’s to identify safety issues as a selling point, leading to several innovations, including the three-point-seatbelt in 1959. Demerged from the truck and bus-making side of Volvo Group in 1999, Volvo Cars was acquired by Ford. Ford sold it to China’s Geely in 2010, and it’s since prospered with a range of new cars.

Nissan (1931)
Nissan started out as the Kaishinsha Motorcar Works in 1911 before changing its name to DAT Motorcar Co in 1925 then again to Nissan in 1934. However, many of the company’s products were sold as Datsuns (initially Datsons) until 1986, when Nissan was adopted as the global brand. Although cars were made in limited numbers from as early as 1914, the first Datsun didn’t arrive until 1931. The Type 10 was a clone of the Austin Seven and initially it featured a 495cc four-cylinder engine, which was later enlarged to 747cc – the same displacement as the Austin unit.

Today, Yokohama-based Nissan is, with its Renault alliance partner, the world’s third largest car producer.

Toyota: AA (1936)
Toyota’s first car was the AA, presented in 1936 and powered by a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine; 1404 were made. The first home-built car for the Japanese market, its public debut at an exhibition in Tokyo, together with a cabriolet version (the AB), helped prompt the Japanese government to give the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works permission to build vehicles, opening the way for the founding of Toyota and the immediate construction of its first auto factories.

Toyota today vies with Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan for the title of the world’s largest car company, by volume of vehicle output.

Mercury (1938)
In the 1930s Ford had a problem; there was a huge gap between its Ford and Lincoln brands, so customers were being forced to defect to rival brands such as Dodge or Pontiac. The solution was to create a new marque between the two: Mercury was born in 1938. The first car was a four-door saloon with a 95bhp 239ci (3915cc) flat-head V8; production lasted until 1942, with the car having been named the Eight in 1941. The Mercury name was closed in 2011.