[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Historical Question Answered

Rob Schiebe asks:

>Can anyone tell me the history of the name Audi?  

We've been through this before, but it's worth repeating every once in a
while.  Audi as a company was started in the first decade of this
century by a gentleman named August Horch, who previously built cars
under his own name. When he lost control of the first company, he had
to come up with a name for the second.  Horch in German means
listen.  Herr Horch took the Latin term for listen, Audi, and incorporated
it as the name of his new venture.

In the late '20s the companies were united under an umbrella
organization called Auto Union (a little like General Motors but on a
much smaller scale).  Horch was the most expensive line, Audi was
next, and there were two additional companies, Wanderer and DKW. 
The four rings of Audi's current logo refer to these four companies.  

During the '30s Auto Union built radical (for their time) mid-engined V-16
and V-12 Grand Prix race cars designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche Sr.,
a name that may be familiar to some listers.(!)   They were ferocious
machines challenged mainly by the even more successful designs of
arch-rival Mercedes-Benz.  But that's another (fascinating) story.

After WWII Auto Union decided to concentrate on production of its least
expensive line, DKW.  When VW bought out Auto Union in the '60s, it
decided to revive the Audi name for a new model that DKW was about
to introduce.  The DKW name was dropped, and it's been Audi all the
way ever since.  

Obviously, this is a high level overview.  If anyone is interested in more
detail, please contact me privately.

Stone Mountain, GA
'85 4KSQ
'89 F250 4x4 diesel
'95 Z28