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German-based Audi, now a part of the Volkswagen Group, has developed a strong reputation among car buyers around the world. Even though the company originated early in the 20th century, it became a popular name in 1960s.
Audi is a Latin term meaning listen which is the same word as Horch in German, the founder’s surname. The slogan means Being Ahead through Technology, and the company is one of the best-selling luxury manufacturers in the world.
The Beginnings of Audi
The company began as an automobile business in 1885 with two of the manufacturers starting their companies about the same time. August Horch created the company in 1899, lending his name as the title of the business. He left the company in 1909 and founded a second business.
Horch was unable to use his name because a court ruled that it belonged to the first company. He and some close friends came up with the idea of using the Latin word for his name, Audi, and the company was born in 1910.
That same year, the first automobile under the new company was produced, named Audi Type A. type B came later the same year. A little more than a decade later, the first six-cylinder vehicle for Audi, the Type M, was produced.
Early Days of Audi
It was in 1932 that four companies merged to form the Audi that became popular during the next few decades. The log of four rings developed from this merger as a symbol of the four individual companies. Audi merged with Horch, Wanderer and DKW and became Auto Union AG, Chemnitz. During this time, Audi Front was developed, which was the first six-cylinder vehicle that also featured front-wheel drive in Europe.
During World War II, like other auto manufacturers, Audi turned to making military vehicles. Once the war was over, the company concentrated on building cars and motorcycles. In 1958, Daimler-Benz took a majority holding in the company. It was also during this era that the name Audi came back to use on new models after a hiatus of 25 years while the individual companies used their own names on models
Volkswagen gained a 50 percent holding in the company in 1964 and used one of the plants to assemble Volkswagen Beetles. Audi also turned to four-stroke engines and built the F103, followed by the Audi 60, 75, 80 and other models.
It was in 1969 that Auto Union had another merger, this time with NSU. At this time, Audi became a separate brand, which hadn’t happened since before the war. A year later, Audi was introduced to the US.
The brand continued to develop its reputation with new models, including the Audi Quattro, which was also the first all-wheel drive model of the company. During the 1990s, Audi shifted focus to the luxury market, designing models to compete with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. One of the first models to be released under this category was the Audi V8.
Audi has continued to grow in popularity and sales around the world. China is one of its best markets while Eastern Europe is another strong area. The manufacturer focuses on cutting edge technology, such as Audi AI, which is a driver assist system. The company has a goal of creating a fully autonomous vehicle in the future.
The company has expanded its lineup over the years. Today, the brand includes several SUVs and Wagons, including the 2020 Q3, RS 6 Avant, Q5, and SQ5. Sedans like the A3 and A4 remain popular with buyers while coupes and convertibles also hold strong appeal in the luxury market. Fans of Audi enjoy the thrill of driving the A5 Coupe, the A5 Cabriolet and the TT Roadster.
To discover more about the Audi models that are available, you can visit Premier Autos of Dallas. Stop in for a test drive of your favorite vehicle.