CAR REVIEW | Audi | Audi or Audi AG (Xetra: NSU) is a German manufacturer of various type of automobiles, from supermini to crossover SUVs in various body styles and price ranges that are marketed under the Audi brand, positioned as the premium brand within the Volkswagen Group.
The company is headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany, and has been a wholly owned (99.55%) subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since 1966, following a phased purchase of its predecessor, Auto Union, from its former owner, Daimler-Benz. Volkswagen relaunched the Audi brand with the 1965 introduction of the Audi F103 series.
The company name is based on the surname of the founder August Horch, his surname meaning "listen" in German—which, when translated into Latin, becomes Audi.
The largest shareholder of Audi is Volkswagen AG, which holds over 99 percent of the share capital. Volkswagen AG includes the consolidated accounts of Audi in its own financial statements. In recent years, the possibility of Audi being spun off or otherwise divested by Volkswagen has been mooted.
From 2002 up to 2007, Audi headed the Audi Brand Group, the Volkswagen Group's automotive sub-division, consisted of Audi together with SEAT and Lamborghini, that was focused on more sporty values, with the marques' product vehicles and performance being under the higher responsibility of the Audi brand.
On 14 November 1899, August Horch (1868–1951) established the company A. Horch & Cie. in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne, but because of dispute between him and the supervisory board, he had to leave the company. A few years later, he established a second company, Horch Automobil-Werke GmbH. The company traces its origins back to 1909 and August Horch. The first Audi automobile, the Audi Type A 10/22 hp (16 kW) Sport-Phaeton, was produced in 1910 in Zwickau.
In 1909, Horch was forced out of the company he had founded. He then started a new company in Zwickau and continued using the Horch brand. His former partners sued him for trademark infringement, and the German Supreme Court (Reichsgericht in Berlin) finally determined that the Horch brand belonged to his former company.
Since August Horch was barred from using "Horch" as a trade name in his new car business, he called a meeting with his best business friends, Paul and Franz Fikentscher from Zwickau. At the apartment of Franz Fikentscher, they discussed how to come up with a new name for the company. During this meeting, Franz's son was quietly studying Latin in a corner of the room. Several times he looked like he was on the verge of saying something but would just swallow his words and continue working, until he finally blurted out, "Father – audiatur et altera pars... wouldn't it be a good idea to call it audi instead of horch?" "Horch!" in German means "Hark!" or "hear", which is "Audi" in Latin. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by everyone attending the meeting. The first Audi car, the Type B, 10/28PS was delivered early in 1910.
Audi started with a 2612 cc inline-four engine model followed by a 3564 cc model, as well as 4680 cc and 5720 cc models. These cars were successful even in sporting events. The first six cylinder model, 4655 cc appeared in 1924.
August Horch left the Audi company in 1920 for a high position at the ministry of transport, but he was still involved with Audi as a member of the board of trustees. In September 1921, Audi became the first German car manufacturer to present a production car, the Audi Type K, with left-handed drive. Left-hand drive spread and established dominance during the 1920s because it provided a better view of oncoming traffic, making overtaking safer. - CAR REVIEW