The History of Audi

Audi was founded in 1909 by August Horch. Its roots go back to the now defunct but no less famous firm Horch, which shone in the German sky during the Third Reich. In 1899, a talented inventor August Horch founded the company 'Horch & Company' in Mannheim, which after 4 years moved to Zwickau. In 1909, he built a new rather unsuccessful 6-cylinder engine, which almost brought the firm to the brink of bankruptcy, which is very angry with his companions, decided to deal with a zealous inventor and expel him from his own firm. But Horch immediately founded another company nearby, which, of course, also bore the Horch name. His former companions, sensing strong competition in the young company, sued Horch to change the company's name. According to the court's decision, the new enterprise for the production of cars could not have the Horch name, and August Horch appealed to the Latinized version of the old name: the word horch, which in German means 'listen', became audi. Thus in 1909, the famous trademark and no less famous company Audi was born.

The first car under the name Audi-A was released in 1910. The next year it was followed by the Audi-B model. Horch exhibited three of these cars in June 1911 at the first Auto Alpenfahrt race in the Austrian Alps, a length of about 2,500 km, which replaced the famous races for the prize of the German Prince Henry.

In 1912, the most famous model - the Audi C. In the same year, its first samples were seriously tested at another Alpine races and achieved good results, for which the C Series cars were called the Alpenziger or 'Conqueror of the Alps'. In the 20s, Audi was on the verge of bankruptcy. It had to merge with another company. In 1928, the company was acquired by German DKW (DKW), and Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen became the owner of Audi. In 1932, the economic crisis has prompted a number of German companies to create the concern Auto Union. It included former competitors Horch and Audi along with DKW and Wanderer. The concern produced two models, equipped with front-wheel drive and Wanderer engines. The cars sold well until the beginning of World War II.

After World War II, Audi and other Auto Union partner companies were nationalized. They were transformed into a division of the Association of People's Automobile Manufacturers. In 1949, Auto Union was reformed by attracting most of the shares of Mercedes-Benz (Mercedes-Benz).

In 1958, Daimler-Benz AG acquired a majority stake in Auto Union, but then sold them to Volkswagen. After the transfer of the controlling stake to Volkswagen (Volkswagen) in 1965, the name Audi began to be used again. A new front-wheel drive car was launched shortly after this event, and by the end of 1968 Audi was back on the market with a good range of models and excellent sales statistics. Four circles were retained as the emblem, symbolizing the merger of the four companies in 1932.

The 100 model, introduced in 1968, and its successors, including the famous Audi Quattro, featured a sporty profile and four-wheel drive, which was a new milestone in the automobile industry in Germany. It was the Quattro model, introduced in 1980, that gave a major boost to the automobile industry and brought Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, worldwide fame. It was a light, fast 'grand touring' car with excellent stability, the type of rally car. It was difficult for competitors to compete with this rally Quattro. The model was exceptionally successful in several auto races.

In 1969, Volkswagen bought the Neckarsulmer Automobilwerke (Neckarsulmer Automobilwerke, NSU). As a result, the company's name was changed, the company became known as Audi NSU Auto Union, and in the summer of 1985 the company's name was changed back to Audi AG.

In 1970 Audi began wide exports to the United States. At first exports to the United States were limited to the Audi Super 90 (sedan and station wagon). and the new Audi 100. From 1973, they were joined by the Audi 80. which, unlike the European version, also existed as the Audi 80 station wagon (actually a VW Passat Variant with a higher level of equipment). Later, Audi models received their own designations in the U.S. market: the Audi 4000 for the Audi 80. Audi 5000 for the Audi 100. However, recurring cases of manufacturer liability violations for its products since the mid-1980s led to a decline in Audi shipments to the U.S.

In 1980, the four-wheel-drive sports coupe attracted a lot of attention at the Audi booth at the Geneva Motor Show. For the first time, an all-wheel-drive, high-powered passenger car was offered as an Audi quattro with the all-wheel-drive concept that had so far only been used in trucks and SUVs. The idea for such a passenger car came in the winter of 1976/77 during test drives on the VW Iltis off-road vehicle being developed for the Bundeswehr. Do not forget to use Audi VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.

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