Audi AG, founded in 1909 by August Horch in Zwickau, Germany, is currently
owned by Volkswagen and headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany. The name’Audi,’ which means, “to listen,” in Latin, was chosen by the founder after
a German Court ruled against him in a trademark infringement case. “Horch,”
the name of his previously-owned car manufacturing company, means “hark!”
in German. The four interlocking rings badge that has become the well-known
Audi emblem was devised in 1932 with the coming together of four separate
automobile manufacturers to form Auto Union AG. Vehicles manufactured by
these four entities, Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer, were capable of
satisfying the needs of a full spectrum of vehicle buyers, from lightweight
motorcycles to full-sized luxury cars.
With the outbreak of WWII, focus went to the production of military
vehicles. This put the Auto Union AG facilities squarely in the sights of
many an Allied bombing mission, and what wasn’t destroyed during the war
was ordered to be dismantled at war’s end. In 1949, with financial aid
available through the Marshall Plan, a new plant was built in Ingolstadt,
Bavaria. The first products coming off the line were a 125cc motorcycle
and a front-wheel drive delivery van dubbed the DKW F 89. Passenger car
production began the following year, made in both a saloon and a four-seat
5 Remarkable Things About Audi You May Not Know
- Audi pioneered industry firsts such as rollover and crash-safety testing, front-wheel drive coupled with six-cylinder power and all-wheel drive.
- Audi sales surged after being featured in the popular movies Transporter 2 and 3, where a powerful A8 W12 was used as a central prop in the film.
- Sales of Audi vehicles soared in China as the the brand is selected forprimary transportation of Chinese government officials.
- The Audi A4 Quattro set a 226.6 mph world speed record in 2009, becoming the fastest biofuel-powered automobile.
- The Audi 100, one of the most popular vehicles in the history of the company, was designed and built in secret after Audi was forbidden by Volkswagen, who had just acquired them, from pursuing any further design or production efforts.
Audi Popular Car Models
The Audi R8, introduced in 2006, is a hand-made mid-engine, AWD sports car fashioned after the world-champion Le Mans racer. It is so popular that, when 2008 models were unveiled, they sold out in one week. The Audi 100 mid-sized sedan is the brand’s best seller ever, and also the basis for VW’s top-selling Polo and Golf (Rabbit) models. The Audi A4 luxury compact, formerly the Audi 80, has secured the brand’s place in the luxury, executive car market.