Audi AG is a manufacturer of auto, sports and the luxury German subsidiary of the Volkswagen group called VAG (Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft ) which holds the trademark to 99.55%. The head office is located in Ingolstadt in Bavaria. Established in 55 countries around the world, Audi is present in most segments of the private vehicle market, including that of prestige sports cars through its two subsidiaries, Lamborghini and Audi Sport. In 2012, the company sold 1,524,635 vehicles, a record since its creation in 1909, and ranks among the most profitable manufacturers.
The name “Audi” is a play on words between “ Audi ” ( hear or listen in Latin ) and the patronymic of the founder August Horch ( listen in German) who created the company on July 16, 1909. Already a manufacturer of sports cars at that time, the company experienced financial difficulties which forced it to merge in 1932 with three other Saxon car brands. The new entity called Auto Union is represented by four rings, a visual identity still preserved today by Audi. In 1964, Volkswagen AG acquires Auto Union and resurrects the name, Audi. It was not until the 1970s, under the impetus of Ferdinand Piëch, that Audi encountered the development we know today.
November 14, 1899, August Horch founds “A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen Werke " in Cologne, but due to differences between him and the board of directors, he left his company in 1909. Immediately after, on July 16, Horch founded a second company in Zwickau called "August Horch Automobil Werke". His name is already used and protected by a registered trademark, the Reich court obliges him to rename it. August Horch, while he is at a work meeting in the apartment of his friend Franz Fikentscher, hears his son learning Latin using the expression Father, audiatur and altera pars .... He then remembers that the Latin translation of his patronym horch (from the imperative of horchen ) means "to listen" in German. The meeting participants find the connection of brilliant idea: Horch becomes Audi (from the imperative of the verb audire meaning "to hear" in Latin). The first automobile of "Audi Automobilwerke GmbH" (abbreviated as Audi), the Audi Type A Sport-Phaeton, was produced in 1910 in Zwickau.
From 1911, the new firm of August Horch, which assembles cars with a rather sporty vocation, takes part in the Austrian Alpine Cup, an endurance race of 2,400 km known to be particularly demanding. Audi won the race three years in a row, in 1912, 1913 and 1914, and in fact acquired an image of an internationally recognized sports constructor. The Audi Type C victorious in the famous race will also be nicknamed "winner of the Alps".
The Auto Union era
During the 1920s, the two rival companies Horch and Audi engaged in a severe but nevertheless prolific competition. However, the Great Depression that followed the crash of 1929 put their financial health at risk. In August 1928, Jørgen Rasmussen, owner of Dampf-Kraft-Wagen (DKW), acquired the majority of the shares in Audi and Volkswagen
At the instigation of the bank of the Land of Saxony, which wishes to protect its investments in the Saxon automobile industry, Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer unite under the acronym of the four intertwined metallic rings to form the consortium " Auto Union AG "June 29, 1932. On this date, the Auto Union group, in which each brand is maintained, therefore becomes the second-largest automobile group in Germany. During the distribution of tasks, the production of prestige models is devolved to Audi, the custodian of this tradition.
It was during this period that the Audi Front was produced, the first automobile in Europe to combine a six-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive. With the prestige car market already occupied by Mercedes-Benz, Austro-Daimler and NAG, Auto Union is gradually starting to produce mid-range models. Moreover, to improve its image with the general public, the company entered the Grand Prix from 1934. The ' Silver Arrows of Auto Union "will thus be necessary for many Grands Prix and, until 1939.
Like most German factories at the dawn of World War II, Auto Union factories were called upon to participate in the war effort and were, therefore, the target of Allied bombing, leaving them damaged after the conflict ended. After the war, the factories of the group, established in the area devolved to the Soviets during the division of Germany, were dismantled, and Auto Union AG was removed from the commercial register of the city of Chemnitz in 1948. To resume production, many employees move to Ingolstadt, where the historic factories of DKW 4 are located. A new company, "Auto Union GmbH", was created on September 3, 1949.
In 1958, Daimler bought 88% of the capital of Auto Union and took over in the months that followed the rest of the German manufacturer, which then became an exclusive subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. The latter will also settle in Düsseldorf, on a site previously used by Auto Union.
In 1964, Volkswagen bought the factory in Ingolstadt and revived the name Audi. The four rings of the Auto Union logo are kept for the visual identity of the new brand. The success of the company led to the takeover of NSU by Audi in 1969, which adopted the name "Audi NSU".
In 1976, Audi manufactured its first 5-cylinder engine, in 1979 turbocharger technology.
At the instigation of Ferdinand Piëch, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, Audi developed many cutting-edge techniques, Piëch taking up the positioning of Audi, then a generalist brand, to make it a high-end brand. Thus, at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show, Audi presented the Quattro coupe, a passenger car with all-wheel drive.
In 1989, Audi installed the first direct injection diesel engine from the Volkswagen Group in the Audi 100 2.5 TDI and presented its first hybrid car: the Audi 100 Avant Quattro-based Duo.
In 1998 Audi bought the Italian brand Lamborghini which was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Today, Audi is the premium subsidiary and technological showcase of the Volkswagen group.
In August 2015, Nokia sold its mapping subsidiary Here to a consortium of German car manufacturers including Daimler, BMW, and Audi for 2.8 billion euros. In 2015, Audi was one of the four brands of the group involved in the Volkswagen affair linked to the rigging of pollutant emissions tests, with nearly 2.1 million vehicles concerned. In November 2019, Audi announced the elimination of almost 9,500 positions by 2025, i.e. almost a tenth of its workforce.
Audi's Famous Brand Models
- A1 (2018)
- A3 / S3 ( 8V )
- A3 / S3 Sportback
- A3 / S3 Sedan (2013)
- A3 / S3 Cabriolet
- A3 Sportback e-tron
- RS3 Sportback
- RS3 Sedan
- A4 / S4 B9 ( 8K )
- A4 / S4 B9 Avant
- A4 B9 Allroad
- RS4 Avant
- A5 / S5 ( 8T3 )
- A5 / S5 Sportback ( 8TA )
- A5 / S5 Cabriolet ( 8F7 )
- A6 / S6 C8 ( 4G )
- A6 / S6 C8 Avant
- A6 C6 Allroad Quattro
- RS6 Avant
- A7 / S7 / RS7 ( 4G )
- A8 / A8 L / A8 W12 ( 4H )
- S8 D5
- TT / TTS / TTRS ( 8S )
- TT / TTS Roadster
- Q5 / SQ5
- Q7 / Q7 V12 / SQ7
- Q8 / SQ8
- R8 V8 / V10 / V10 Plus
- R8 V8 / V10 Spyder ( 42 )
- Audi Quartz (1981)
- Audi Quattro Spyder (1991)
- Audi Avus Quattro (1991)
- Audi Rosemeyer (2000)
- Audi Avantissimo (2001)
- Audi Steppenwolf (2001)
- Audi Nuvolari Quattro (2003)
- Audi Pikes Peak Quattro (2003)
- Audi Le Mans Quattro (2003)
- Audi RSQ (2004)
- Audi Shooting Brake (2005)
- Audi Roadjet (2006)
- Audi Cross Cabriolet Quattro (2007)
- Audi Metroproject Quattro (2007)
- Audi A1 Project Quattro Concept (2008)
- Audi TT Clubsport Quattro Concept (2008)
- Audi R8 TDI Le Mans Concept (2008)
- Audi Sportback Concept (2009)
- Audi Quattro Concept (2010)
- Audi A1 e-tron (2011)
- Audi e-tron Spyder (2011)
- Audi A1 clubsport quattro (2011)
- Audi Crosslane coupe Concept (2012)
- Audi Nanuk quattro Concept (2013)
- Audi Sport quattro Concept (2013)
- Audi Prologue Concept (2014)
- Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept (2014)
- Audi Prologue Avant Concept (2015)
- Audi e-tron quattro Concept (2015)
- Audi h-tron quattro Concept (2016)
- Audi Elaine (2017)
- Audi PB18 e-tron (2018)
- Audi e-tron GT concept (2018)
- Audi Q4 e-tron (2019)
- Audi AI: ME (2019)
- Audi AI: CON (2019)
- Audi AI: TRAIL (2019)
- Audi AI: RACE (2019)
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