Four Rings: The Story of Audi

Audi is one of the best-selling automobile manufacturers in the world. This oldest-established German brand has a multi-faceted history as it has existed for over a century.

This beautiful journey started way back in 1885 when the Wanderer Company was established, that later became a branch of Audi. In 1889, A. Horch & Cie was founded by A. Horch in Cologne. He then formed August Horch & Cie. Motowagenwerke AG in 1904.

This didn’t last very long as Horch has disagreements with the board, so he left this company and founded another one in 1909. It was named August Horch Authomobilewerke GmbH. Since the name resembled with Horch’s former company, there were legal issues on using this name. He had to come about another name.

Idea for the name

Horch in Latin is Audi that means ‘Listen’. The son of one of August Horch’s business partners gave a creative idea to name the new company Audi.

Logo design

The intersected rings symbol has an interesting idea behind it. It was born with the merger of the 4 top auto manufacturers of those times namely Wanderer, DKW, Audi, and Horch. This merger was done in 1932 and named ‘Auto Union’.

This design also faced a controversy as the 4 interlocked rings is similar to the Olympic rings. The Olympic committee also took Audi to court in 1955 where the ruling came in favor of Audi.

When did Audi start making cars?

In 1910, Audi Type A Sport-Phaeton was made as their first car. Type B was also launched the same year. These cars were a huge success, especially in sporting events. Due to August Horch’s victorious involvement in Australian Alpine runs, Audi gained international popularity and a huge following.

In 1920, Horch left Audi to become an independent automotive expert in Berlin. A short period after that, Audi launched the first German left-hand drive car, the Audi Type K. This aided drivers to have a better view of the oncoming traffic. It made driving safe and overtake was easier.

The times of World War II

When Germany took part in World War II, like other manufacturers, Auto Union plants were also turned into plants for military production. Thus, Audi’s facility also became a target of allied bombing.

By the end of the war, these factories were dismantled, and the assets were expropriated without compensation. Auto Union was no longer a functioning entity. In August 1948, Auto Union was deleted from the commercial register.

On the verge of collapse, through miraculous financial support, Audi’s factory in Zwickau restarted assembly for the pre-war-models.

In 1965, a 4-stroke engine post-war vehicle was released as the time was ideal for a brand-new product designation.


Audi developed the four-wheel-drive technology in 1980’s. The technology was named ‘Audi Quattro’ and it employed high performance and an impeccable design.

In 1987, Audi launched Audi 90 that was the latest version of Audi 80.

Later on, they ventured into the upscale market with their Audi V8 that stood rival to the likes of Mercedes Benz and BMW.

Throughout the last decade, Audi has seen a rapid growth in sales. They have produced vehicles in multiple countries across the globe.

Today, Audi is one of the most reputable and desired brands, competing closely with other leading auto manufacturers. Using state-of-the-art machinery and latest technology, they continue to bring innovative ideas to the table and the latest luxurious cars to the showrooms.

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