Audi is a name linked with quality and exceptional craftsmanship – but where did this car come from, and how has it evolved into the praised automotive option that it is today, in its 101-year history?
August Horch was thrown out of Horch automobile manufacturers in 1909 and founded a competitor company in Zwickau. Horch Automobil-Werke GmbH was the company’s initial name, but after a trademark infringement conflict with his former company (Horch), it was renamed Audi Automobilwerke GmbH in 1910. Audi is the Latin translation of the term ‘Horch,’ which roughly translates to ‘hear’ in English.
The first Audi car was a 2,612 cc four-cylinder type that was popular at sporting events. Audi was the first German vehicle manufacturer to produce a production car, the Audi Type K, in 1921, and it was a major success for the company. In 1924, Audi also released a six-cylinder car.
Jorgen Rasmussen bought the bulk of Audi shares in 1928 after Horch left the company in 1920. Audi merged with Horch, Wanderer, and DJW to form Auto Union in 1932. They also constructed the first European car with a six-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive as part of this.
Auto Union vehicles also had the four rings that are still seen on Audi vehicles today.
Unfortunately, because of Germany’s involvement in World War II, the Auto Union plants were brutally attacked and radically redesigned to cater to military manufacturing. These plants were eventually shut down, and Germany’s Auto Union AG was liquidated. In 1949, the former Audi factory in Zwickau resumed production of pre-war vehicles.
In 1949, a new Auto Union was established in Bavaria, which continued to develop two-stroke engines. However, there was no specific plant for effective vehicle mass production. The company was only able to construct a facility at the Ingolstadt location in 1959.
In 1969, Auto Union joined with NSU, a German automaker that had previously specialized in motorcycles but was now focusing on smaller vehicles. Audi NSU Auto Union AG was the new company’s name, with Audi as a separate brand from the pre-war time. In 1970, Volkswagen debuted the Audio models to the United States.
The Audi 100 was the first new car introduced in 1968, followed by the Audi 50 in 1972, which would go on to become a tremendously successful globe car. In 1980, Audi introduced the Audi Quattro, a performance automobile that was a smash hit in rallying. Audi soon established a reputation for developing cutting-edge vehicle technology.
Because Auto Union and NSU were practically gone by 1985, the official name was abbreviated to Audi AG, and the firm became what we know today.
Audi sales expanded fast in the 2000s, with Eastern Europe showing special interest, and this trend is projected to continue, with the Audi A4 models enjoying great success. Volkswagen AG presently owns more than 99 percent of Audi AG’s stock.
Audi is an unstoppable brand that embodies exquisite but functional styling and a monster of an engine in every model, with many 5 star reviews from even the most discerning critics.