Audi History

By: Kalin

Audi is a car manufacturing company with a big history. Data about it is provided in many places today which come to say how proud the owners of this manufacturer are. There are in fact many things that make them proud.
The foundation of the company is on 14 November 1899. This is the date when August Horch (1868 - 1951) established the company A. Horch & Cie which was the starting point of Audi that we know today. This company was established in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne where August Horch made his first car model. The car was finished during 1901 and in March of the next year the company was moved to Reichenbach in Saxony.
Two years later the company was converted to share-issuing company. During that time another change of location took place. On the same year - 10 May 1904 a company in Zwicka was established by the name A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen-Werke AG.
It is interesting to know that right-hand drive originated from the age of horses where carriages were used. The coachman sat in the right-hand side of this vehicle and that was lately implemented in the first car model August Horch developed but later Audi were the first to offer another solution which came to be really better. This solution is the left-hand driving. It made possible for safer way of driving because the driver has a better view on the oncoming traffic. All maneuvers are easier when using a left-hand driving and this is the reason why even today it is most commonly used. The first car which uses the left-hand drive is called Audi Type K and this happened on 1921.
The year 1926 is really significant because during it the first eight-cylinder car was introduced by Horchwerke AG of Zwickau. The Horch was the name of that car and it was the first German eight-cylinder car to go into volume production. Paul Daimler designed the engine with double overhead camshafts. They were driven by shaft set vertically to the whole camshafts body. This made possible for a 60 horsepower engine to be created.
Two years later in 1928 the first DKW car appeared.

That happened because Rasmussen finally got the powerful engine he needed. That engine is 600 cc, 15 hp in the form of two-cylinder motorcycle unit.
Rasmussen got the majority of shares in Audiwerke AG. in 1928 and he made the DKW small car be with front-wheel drive. It was later produced in large numbers in the same company. This event happened in 1931 and the car had a wooden body. An imitation of leather was made on the wooden body and the old two-stroke engine was used to power the car.
Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer got together on 29th June 1932 to create the new Auto Union AG. This was a pretty big event because these 4 brands were the Saxon car manufacturing giants. Together they made their head office in Chemnitz. They were able to serve the complete production process and they made many models - even luxury saloon cars.
In the next year - 1933 at the Berlin motor show Auto Union AG presented to the general public the first standard-size passenger car with front-wheel drive. For that car a six-cylinder engine was used.
A year after that a new design for a better aero dynamical appeal won a race and it greatly increased the popularity of Auto Union. The winning racing car was based on designs of Ferdinand Porsche. The six-cylinder engine was installed on the back side of the vehicle behind the driver. That made possible for the less aero dynamical resistance to occur and less power was lost due to that.
A new head office of the company was founded in Chemnitz in 1936. During the same year the whole manufacturing process was placed there too with the main facilities for design, development and testing.
In 1937 a speed of 400 km/h was exceeded by an Auto Union racing car. That world record proved that this company made the most of their cars - lightweight, extreme engine power of 545 horsepower and a fine aero dynamical design. Even today we talk with respect about such a high speed and we could only imagine what a high-tech product these cars were for their time.
In 1938 Auto Union AG were the first to make crash tests. They wanted to see the different ways that could happen and this made possible for further and better designs regarding the safety of the passengers. This is a major issue in the industry today and we should pay our respect to the first one whom though about it.
Civilian production was interrupted because of the war in May 1940 and the company began production mainly for military purposes. Special vehicles were developed during that time which were more durable and with the ability to last even in more harsh conditions.
In 1945 Auto Union was wiped from existence with the orders of the Soviet military administration in Germany. The plants were dismantled as reparations and all assets of the company were lost during that process. In 1948 the company was deleted from the Commercial Register and 17 August 1948 is stated as its last day.
On 3 September 1949 a new company was established by the name Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt. Some loans from the Bavarian state government and Marshall Plan made that possible. The production process started in the same year.
Many events occur in the future of this company and everything that happened made possible for the foundation of Audi as we know it today. New world records were made and new designs were created. In 1991 design studies made possible for Audi quattro Spyder to occur and another good design with the name Audi Avus quattro.
In 1993 some aluminum elements made the cars more lightweight which was a tendency for many years.
One of the latest significant things that happened was in March 1994. This is when Audi AG presented a new car model - the Audi A8. This was a major attraction in the Geneva Motor Show.

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