The History of Audi Auto Group
In 1885 the company under the name of Wanderer would be established. This company would ultimately lead to become a branch of Audi AG today. NSU, which would be another branch to later merge into Audi AG, would assist in the automobile development by supplying a chassis for the first Daimler four-wheeler.
In 1899 a man by the name of August Horch would establish the Horch & Cie which would produce its first vehicle in 1901 with the horizontal engine producing 5 hp and featured an alloy crankcase which was an industry first. Worch would soon be ousted from the company leading him to start up another once again using his last name but was soon taken to German Supreme Court over trademark infringement by using the name Horch. It is said that Horch’s son who studied Latin came up with Audi. As Horch translated to “to hear” Audi translated to “to listen”. In 1910 the first production Audi would be produced known as the Audi Type-A Sport-Phaeton. The company would go on to produce the 1.5 L Wanderer in 1913 which would bring popularity to the vehicle and company. During the stent of World War I, that Audi factory would be converted over to producing munitions and armament for the German army. In 1921, Audi once again begin production on its vehicles starting with the first left-hand drive Wanderer passenger vehicle and the first eight cylinder engine was introduced.
In 1929 the world economic crisis would cause production of NSU vehicles to cease which would lead to sales of the plant and company to Fiat although NSU would continue to manufacture motorcycles. In the years to come Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer would form together to create the Auto Union AG in 1932 and NSU would join in 1969. These four main companies merging together would form the four rings of the Audi symbol today. During the stent of World War II the Auto Union AG factory would be retooled in order to produce military products to help the German wartime effort. In 1945 the Soviet Union military administration would dismantle factories in assets owned by the company without compensating these industries. But in 1949 the former Audi factory would restart assembly of vehicles that were incurred production before the start of World War II. Throughout the 50s the auto union company would continue slow production of its vehicles as it had very little to work with at the time.
In 1958 Daimler-Benz would purchase a vast majority of the Auto Union Company and by the next year own a hundred percent of the holdings. Mercedes would begin engineering on a modern four stroke four-cylinder engine and begin construction on a state-of-the-art factory. In 1964 Daimler-Benz would consider their investments in the Auto Union Company to be unsuccessful. In the same year Volkswagen would take an interest in the company and a year later would have complete control of Audi. Volkswagen had purchased Audi so if it expands its production through the current Audi facilities and had no intentions of Audi producing its own vehicles under the ownership and control of Volkswagen.
Audi engineers work in secrecy to develop the Audi 100 without Volkswagens corporate leaders knowing about the plans for prototype. The vehicle was finished it was produced in front of the corporate executives of Volkswagen including the chief executive Heinrich Nordhoff. Nordhoff was impressed with the vehicle enough to give it the green light for production should be a smart move as the vehicle would be an instant success ended a six-year period over 800,000 Audi 100s would be produced thus beginning the re-introduction of the Audi nameplate. In 1972 the same designer of the Audi 100, Ludwig Kraus develop that Audi 80 which would be another instant success creating 1,000,000 Audi 80’s to be sold in a six-year time. Many more vehicles would follow bringing greater success in world recognition to Audi.
In 1980 the company would produce its first permanent four-wheel drive under the name of Audi Quattro. By 1985 brands such as Auto Union and NSU would effectively be changed to Audi AG. By the 1990s automotive executives wanted Audi to compete against German luxury auto manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The company would release its first vehicle to take on Mercedes-Benz and BMW known as the Audi V8. This would be the flagship vehicle for the company and combined the all-wheel-drive Quattro system with an automatic transmission which would be a first for Audi.
In 1994 that Audi V8 would be replaced by the Audi A8 which would begin sales in 1997 for the United States. From 2000 through 2008, Audi expanded its market substantially and with its vehicles the company would see a massive increase in overall sales. Audi would see a boost in sales from the Middle East and China which have become major buyers of Audi products. Today Audi is the most profitable division of Volkswagen Group and offers a wide variety of vehicles to many countries around the world. Audi employees nearly 50,000 individuals worldwide and has just recently purchased Ducati Motor Holding.