In 1932 Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged to found Auto Union under the remaining symbol of the Ingolstadt company.
One of the most curious cases is that of Audi, which we know today as “The House of the Four Rings”, but which actually inherited that emblem, born long after its original foundation and not originally intended for it, or at least not only for Is it over there.
From a rib of Horch
Audi’s founding story, which is no less curious, dates back many years earlier, to be exact, to 1910, when August Horch, founder of the prestigious car manufacturer of the same name, was forced to create a new company after being kicked out. of Horch’s board of directors.
In addition, he was prohibited from giving his name to the new company. To solve this problem, he adopted a simple stratagem, that of using an equivalent word in another language. His surname Horch, the imperative of the verb horchen which means “to hear” in German, took on the same declension as the Latin verb “audire”: it thus became “Audi”.
However, the paths of the two rival companies were destined to cross again, which happened in the early 1930s, when the economic crisis and the disappointing commercial results of some new models pushed not only Audi and Horch but also another brand. prestigious companies like Wanderer, to the brink of bankruptcy.
It ended up taking over the three luxury brands and launched a mega-corporate merger that gave rise to the Auto Union Group, for which the four chain rings were chosen as a symbol, sanctioning the link between the four manufacturers that maintained their identity, dividing the segments of Marketplace.
The only survivor
To understand how Audi emerged from this situation to become the company it is today, we need to go back a few years, to be exact, to the end of the Second World War, which had left the Auto Union group, based in Ingolstadt, in great difficulty and ended up sacrificing the Audi brand, the least structured of the four. Audi even ended up being discontinued.
Its revival took place in the mid-1960s, when Auto Union was first taken over by Daimler-Benz and then gradually sold to Volkswagen, with the sole exception of the Horch brand (which Audi would only regain ownership many years later). later, preferably completing August Horch’s “revenge”).
The growing company Wolfsburg was looking for a luxury brand and with Horch unavailable, it chose to resurrect Audi, giving it the now-defunct Auto Union four-ring logo that, until an earlier time, identified DKW sedans.
From that moment began the slow process of rebirth of Audi, as we know it today. The first model was the F103, which took the place of the DKW F102 and was, in fact, its evolution. Then came the Audi 80 and 100, respectively the ancestors of the current A4 and A6.
From the 80 family came the legendary Quattro coupé in 1981, which debuted the four-wheel drive of the same name, which is now the pride and joy of the company. Shortly before, in 1979, came the Audi 200, the first flagship of the brand, which gave rise to the dynasty that continued with the V8 and then the A8.
On the other side of the list, however, Audi tried to infiltrate the compact car segment with the ’74 Audi 50, a cousin of the Volkswagen Polo, which was unsuccessful, to be followed many years later by the original A2 MPV at the start of the third millennium. and then by the current A1.
More fortunate, at least in continuity, was the destination in the compact segment, approached in 96 with the first generation A3, now in its fourth generation. This was followed in 98 by the TT, another model that in the last twenty years has embodied the brand’s values of elegance and sportiness like few others. It was she who was considered by the great designer Walter de Silva, for years head of design for the brand and later for the entire Group, “the true expression of the Audi philosophy”.