Audi cars are loved the world over for their sleek designs and high performance models, but do you know little about this manufacturer? This article will explain all you need to know about this German car manufacturer. A private company and part of the Volkswagen Group, Audi makes a range of automobiles from crossover SUVs to neat superminis and luxury sports cars. Their headquarters are situated in Ingolstadt in Germany and were founded in Zwickau on 16th July in 1909 when August Horch began a car company. The name actually derives from Horch’s name, which means listen and has then been translated into Latin as ‘Audi’.
The first ever Audi car was the A type Sport-Phaeton which ran at 10 / 22 horsepower and was made in 1910. Forced out of his original company, Horch took the reins of his new enterprise and invited two friends, Franz and Paul Fikentscher, for a meeting while Franz’s son was present studying Latin quietly in the room. When plans for a new car company were discussed the businessmen attempted to think up a name for their new Audi Leasing venture. Allegedly, Franz had been quietly listening in and eventually piped up, “Father – audiatur et altera pars…wouldn’t it be a good idea to call it ‘audi’ instead of ‘horch’?” The men agreed and a new car company was born.
They set about making cars, including the Type K, which was the first left-handed drive on the German market. In 1928 Jorgen Rasmussen gained majority shares in the company along with an acquisition of the American company Rickenbacker. During World War II, the manufacturing Audi A1 Lease plants were reconfigured to cope with war munitions manufacture and thus were often the targets for enemy bombings. The Soviets occupied many of the factories and the company struggled as the remains of the Zwickau factory were turned into the Automobile Works Zwickau. Manufacture of cars recommenced in 1949 after the war ended.
Investment started slowly to come in and the mass-production of cars for a wider market became possible. Audi vehicles soon grew to become a world-famous company, with the assistance of Daimler-Benz and later Volkswagen.