In the last 50 years, Audi has become synonymous with the term “luxury” just as much as BMW and Mercedes. This was not always the case, as much as they might have led you to believe. Here at Luxury Import and Performance, we are dedicated to not only bringing you the best quality of service when it comes to your vehicle but also giving you top-notch advice and information. Over the coming months, we are going to be bringing your blogs on the history of Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. We want to highlight what makes these companies tick, and how you came to be driving their vehicles in this modern era. So without further ado, here is the history of Audi.

A Name Changes Everything

On May 10th, 1904 a man by the name of August Horch had an idea to start a car company. He founded the “August Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG. after only being there for five years, he quickly realized that his vision and his shareholder’s visions were vastly different. So he left to form the “August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH”. This brand new company was to be created and crafted with the singular vision of August in mind. There was only one issue; the name.

Soon after Horch had founded this new company, the supreme court determined that the word “Horch” could no longer be used by any company other than his original one. As soon as the ruling was laid down, he quickly began working with his colleagues to come up with a new name. “Horch” in german meant “to hear” which roughly stemmed from “audiere” or “to listen” in Latin. August shortened it to Audi and thus the “Audi Automobilwerk GmbH” company was formed on April 25th, 1910.

The Alphabet Types

The first Audi vehicle that was produced was the Audi Type A. This car boasted a 22 horsepower motor that could reach top speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. There was a total of 140 of these vehicles produced in 1910 before it was replaced the following year by the Audi Type B. From year to year this naming habit continued until they got to the Audi Type K in 1920. This vehicle became the first German car that had left-handed drive. This driving style allowed for the driver to see oncoming vehicles much easier so that they could pass with ease. 

Car Companies Unite!

In August of 1928, Jørgen Rasmussen acquired a majority of the shares in Audi. He vowed to make Audi a luxurious company known for their sleek, speedy cars. This led to him seeking out engines and body types that would allow for the car to go toe-to-toe with the racing vehicles of the time. Unfortunately, progression in the car world means spending a lot of money. 

In 1932, only four years after Rasmussen took over Audi, the company began running out of funds. Luckily,  three other companies, Horch (yes, the one that August started), DKW, and Wanderer were running low on funds as well. This led to the companies coming together to form the “Audi Union AG”. The iconic Audi logo stems from the four separate companies representing a ring on each. 

These companies coming together created a unique blend of creativity that had not been seen in German automobiles up to that point. Each company brought something different to the table. Horch and Wanderer were focused on engines, Audi was focused on bodywork, and DKW was focused on creating the best drivetrains of the time. The first vehicle that they created was entitled the “Audi Front” which was the first European vehicle to combine a six-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive capabilities. This technological innovation would continue until 1939 when World War II would begin.

Luxury Vehicles Need A Little Extra

We look forward to you reading our next blog on Audi during the post World War II era! While we may not be able to repair your Audi Type A (Although, if you have one, we would love to see it), we can repair all of your modern-day Audi issues. Contact us today so that we can help you with all of your import auto repair needs in St. Charles! We look forward to you reading our next blog on Audi during the post World War II era!