People love Audis, and for a good reason. They are great cars that can be luxurious, fun, and practical. Have you ever wondered how the Audi of today came to be? Below is some history of how one of the early automobile manufacturers came to be the brand we know and love today.
In 1899, August Horch created a company named A. Horch & Cie. He eventually left this to found the August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH. After a few iterations, this second company as rebranded as Audi Automobilwerke GmbH Zwicau in 1910. The name is derived from Horch, which means “Hark!” or “hear.” Audi is the singular imperative of “listen” in Latin.
This period saw the Audi Type A, which was a very successful car including in motorsports. In 1921, the Type K was the first German production car with left-hand drive.
Audi’s now-famous logo came about in the late 20s and early 30s. During this time, many German car brands were coming together. Audi merged with Horch (the first company created by August Horch), Wanderer, and Drampf-Kraft-Wagen. The merger of these four companies was the inspiration for the logo of four linked circles.
During World War II, Audi plants were retooled for military production. They were also targeted by Allied bombing. Many of the company’s assets were expropriated without compensation after the Soviet occupation.
With little left, the company executives brought what they could to West Germany, where they expected to achieve more success. They used loans from the Bavarian state government and the Marshall Plan aid to help start anew.
Despite getting some help, the company continued to struggle with little capital available to build production capacity. In 1958 and 59, it was acquired by Daimler-Benz. In 1964, Volkswagen, the modern owner of Audi, purchased a 50% stake.
Five years later, Audi merged with NSU and relocated to Neckarsulm, the modern headquarters. In the 70s, the company built the Audi 80 and 100, which would ultimately become the A4 and A6. Later, in 1980, Audi produced the Quattro, a rally racing legend. The company’s rally success helped it springboard into the modern sports car brand it is today.
If you love your Audi and want to keep it running for as long as possible, bring it to Dave’s Ultimate Automotive in North Austin. Schedule an appointment online or visit any of our locations.