You may be surprised to know that the history of Audi AG spans back to the 19th century. August Horch founded his first automobile company, August Horch & Cie in Cologne in 1899. Then in 1909, he set up a new automobile company in Zwickau. The company could not take its founder’s name for competitive reasons, so a new name was formed by translating his name, which in German means “hark” or “listen”, into Latin. As a result, the company started trading as Audi Automobilwerke GmbH, Zwickau on April 25, 1910.
The famous four rings symbolise the merger of four automobile manufacturers based in the German state of Saxony: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, which combined to become Audi Union AG, then the second-largest motor vehicle manufacturing group in Germany.
After the war ended in 1945, Auto Union AG’s premises were located in the zone occupied by the Soviet forces, who expropriated its assets, dismantled the plant and had the company removed from the Commercial Register. Therefore, in 1949/1950, the Auto Union GmbH was newly founded in Ingolstadt.
The renowned slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik” was introduced in 1971 as part of an advertising campaign for the NSU Ro 80, a car ahead of its time. This became the key message underlining the expertise of the company and translates to “Advancement through Technology”.
In 1979, Terry Listers and Keith Bradshaw founded Listers and opened the first Listers Audi retailer in Coventry. Take a look at the Listers Audi timeline on the left to explore the full history of Listers Audi.