BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) founded by Karl Friedrich Rapp in 1917, is an independent German company and a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. BMW is the parent company of the MINI and Rolls-Royce car brands. In 1919 BMW designed its first motorcycle engine, used in a model called the Victoria. BMW started producing automobiles at its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant in 1994. Today, the plant manufactures the BMW X5, the BMW Z4 Roadster and Coupe, and the BMW Z4 M Roadster and Coupe.