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  • Automotive Essence

The Story Behind Audi's 4 Rings

To many car buffs the history of the Audi logo


In the late 1890s at the dawn of the automobile, August Horch worked side by side with Benz himself. This experience led Horch to create his own car company in 1899 focusing on building strong quality cars. Internal struggles within the Horch company led August Horch to leave and start a new company all over again in 1909. Horch was unsuccessful in protecting the trademark of his own name and therefore was unable to start a company that contained any variation of his name as the car brand. Because the Horch name had a powerful marketing influence on advertising and buyers, August Horch was forced to create a new company, publicize it, and still advertise that the founder of Horch was behind the wheel (pun intended). This issue lead Horch and his colleagues to think of a new name - AUDI


The name ‘Audi’ comes early in the formation of the company, the founders were struggling to come up with a name. Stories have said (though not on the official Audi website) that it was after a long discussion that the son of one of the men said, “Father - audiatur et altera pars... wouldn’t it be a good idea to call it Audi instead of Horch?” The name Audi is the Latin root word for listen. A play on German language, where the name Horch is the German root for the same word. The company was founded in 1910 by Horch and his colleagues as he set out to design cars specifically under the Audi name. Early success in racing events gave Audi the publicity and reputation as a company built on engineering and reputation.


The Wanderer company was founded on the production of motorcycles. It was 16 years after its inception that a prototype automobile was trialed and with great success.


From autos to motorcycles to steam driven vehicles? The foundation of DKW began as exploration into steam driven vehicles conducted during WWI. Although these vehicles were unsuccessful, the name DKW comes from an abbreviation for the German word “steam-driven vehicle.”

These four companies were brought together throught the finaincial strugges of the early thirties in Germany. The comination of the four allowed for each to survie under a new company: Auto Union

More to come on Audi.

Thank you for reading,

Jared & Jim

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