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Audi AG is a German automobile company that is part of the Volkswagen group. The Audi AG group also includes Lamborghini and Ducati.
August Horch started the project for the construction of automobiles at the end of the 19th century, thus giving rise to the foundation of the Horch brand, in the spring of 1899, in Zwickau, near the city of Chemnitz. At an almost mind-boggling pace for the time, Horch produced five different models, until 1909. In that year, Horch, due to disagreements with the directors, decided to abandon the project.
As Horch lost the rights to the name of the then created company, he had to rename it, but with another name. Horch elegantly circumvented the problem, adopting his own name as a new brand, but translated into Latin: Audi. In 2006, Audi sold 905,100 vehicles.
The four united rings represent the German brands that formed Auto Union, founded in 1928, when Jørgen Rasmussen, owner of DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen), bought a large part of the company’s shares. That same year, Rasmussen bought the bankrupt American company Rickenbacker, which had produced models with V8 blocks, which would be used in the next generation of Audi, with the models Zwickau and Dresden, launched in 1929. The four rings appear when, in 1932, Auto Union acquires two more companies: Wanderer and, interestingly, Horch, being born the symbol of the Four Rings, originating from the merger between the four automobile companies. With the end of World War II, there was a German separation: East Germany and West Germany were born – respectively, Communist and Capitalist. Therefore, there were two Auto Unions: the first became a “People’s Company”, a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb), where, regarding Communism, the company became the people, cared for by the State. Interestingly, the Audi plant was “behind the iron curtain” in Zwickau. The second, however, continued only with the DKW models, as Germany had suffered a lot from the war, and the German could not buy anything but a cheap car. Audi and Horch were then extinguished, while Wanderer dedicated itself to making other products, such as refrigerators.
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