A Brief History of Audi | Rochester Audi in Rochester, MN


Audi Automotive Group is a German-based auto group that designs engineers, produces, markets and sells luxury vehicles under the Audi name. Headquartered in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany, Audi has nine production facilities around the world rolling out cars for the brand. Volkswagen relaunched the brand in 1965 with the introduction of the Audi F103 series.


The name “Audi” comes from the name of the company’s founder, August Horch. Horch had already established more than one automobile company with his last name in the title and was banned from using it again. In a meeting with some of his business friends, one of the men’s sons was studying Latin in the room. They were trying to come up with a new name for the company. Finally, the son spoke up and suggested the name “Audi.” “Horch” means “listen” in German. In Latin, it translates to “Audi.”



On April 25, 1910, the Audi Automobilwerke GmbH Zwickau was registered. Audi’s first automobile, the Audi Type A, was produced that same year, followed by the Type B (also produced in 1910).


In 1928, Jorgen Rasmussen, the owner of another auto group, DKW, acquired most of the shares in Audi. Then in 1932, Audi merged with three other manufacturers (Horch, DKW and Wanderer) to form Auto Union Auto Group.


Prior to World War II, Auto Union put more focus on smaller cars in the union instead of the luxurious Audi models. By 1938, Audi accounted for only 0.1 percent of the German car market. After the last Audis of 1939 were delivered, the Audi name disappeared completely for more than 20 years.


Volkswagen introduced the brand to the United States for the 1970 model year. Today, Audis are manufactured in nine plants all over the world, sharing some with other brands such as Volkswagen and Porsche.


Audi’s logo, made up of four rings, represents each of the four car companies that came together to create Audi’s predecessor, Auto Union. The Audi slogan is “Vorsprung durch Technik,” which means “Advancement through Technology.” Audi USA has used the slogan “Truth in Engineering” since 2007.


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