Audi, AG one of the best car manufacturers in the word today was launched in 1885. Audi’s story begins with the launch of the Wanderer Company that would ultimately become a branch of AUDI AG. August Horch founded a company known as A. Horch & Cie which would later become Audi. Horch made the company’s first car that same year in the Erhenfeld district of Cologne, Germany. In 1902, the company moved to Reichenbach and 2 years later Horch established a joint stock company with Zwickau that was known as August Horch & Cie Morotwagenwerke AG.
In 1909, Horch founded a new company, the August Horch Automobilwerke GmBH. Soon after, a trademark infringement law suit would force him to drop “Horch” from the company’s name. Following the law suit, Horch met with close business friends to discuss a suitable name for the young vehicle company. In 1910, they finally settled on the name Audiwerke GmBH.
That same year, the Audi Type A hit the market and immediately became quite popular. The company soon after began participating in races winning the International Austrian Alpine Run three years in a row. In 1914, the company won the 1914, Alpine Challenge Trophy, thus marking the beginning of the soon to become widely successful Audi brand.
Audi 1915 – 1940
Following the success of the type A, Audi quickly produced numerous other 4680cc, 5720cc and 3564cc models. In 1920, Horch left the company to take up a position in the Ministry of Transport but remained a member of the Audi Board of Trustees. That same year Audi became the first manufacturer to produce a car with left-hand drive.
In 1928, Jorge Rasmussen acquired most of the Audi AG shares at the same time acquiring the remaining shares of the famous, US Company Rickenbacker. This gave him rights over the manufacturing equipment for the 8 cylinder engines Rickenbacker produced. In 1929, these engines were installed in the Audi Dresden and Audi Zwickau models.
The company would in 1932, enter into a merger with Wanderer, Horch and DKW to form the Audi Auto AG which led to the creation of the distinctive four-ring Audi Logo. The company began participating in Grand Prix races in the late 30s. Towards the end of the decade, the company had a new office in Chemnitz, Introduced the first 16-cylinder racing car and also became among the first to begin conducting crash and systematic rollover tests.
As many other vehicle manufacturers had done in the early 40’s Audi would move to the manufacture of war vehicles. Because of this, the Audi Company’s plants, like many other German manufacturers became a target for Allied bombs. A raid in 1945 by the US Army caused considerable damage to the Audi’s plant and a few years later, the company was removed from the commercial register. Audi didn’t give up and began assembling pre-war models in 1949. That same year, the company was officially renamed Auto Union GmBH and continued with the DKWs tradition of making front-wheel cars with 2-stroke engines.
In 1953, the company launched the famous Sounderklasse, developed in pre-war Chemnitz. A few years later Daimler-Benz tool over Audi and production in the Ingolstadt plant began. In 1964, Volkswagen AG acquired majority shares in Auto Union.
By 1966, Auto Union had become a subsidiary of Volkswagen but VW retained the name Audi and the now famous four-ringed logo. This time did however mark a significantly tumultuous period for Audi with a redesign of most of the models. In 1972, the company produced the Audi 80, a new mid-sized vehicle.
By the end of that decade, two more widely popular models made their debut including the Audi 50 and 100 Avant. They were particularly popular for the fact that they were pocket-friendly at a time when the energy crisis had launched models like the VW into the market.
Audi 1980 –Present Day
By the time the 80s rolled around, the Audi brand was a significant player in the industry, winning the Grand Austrian Automobile Prize and the Golden Steering Wheel Award. But the 90s were perhaps the most successful era for the Audi with models like the Audi 11, Audi 8, Audi Cabriolet, Audi S4 and the Audi 100 Avant.
The company would in 2000 become the first to introduce the peripheral white LED’s feature introduced with the first 12-cylinder engine in the Audi Q7 in 2007.
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