Audi, one of the oldest German car brands in the world, was founded in 1899 by August Horsch, a brand that initially bore his name. Horsche later left the company and founded a company called Audi, which is actually a translation of the meaning of the word Horsche, to hear, to Latin. In 1932, the symbol of Audi’s four combined rings first appeared, symbolizing the unification of four German companies into one manufacturer – Auto Union. During the 1930s, the company starred in racetracks with models that became iconic over the years. In 1965, Audi was acquired by the Volkswagen Group.
On November 14, 1899, the horch & cie company was first established in Germany by the engineer August Horsch. In 1909 Horsh was forced to retire from the company he founded and bore his name amid professional disagreements. Since the name “Horsh” in German means “Shema”, Horsch decided that the new company Shikim would be called “Audi”, a name derived from the Latin word meaning sound.
On April 25, 1910, Audi was first registered. At the same time, in 1932, a huge German carmaker was founded: Auto Union, which united a number of German carmakers: Audi, Horsche, Schopauer, and D.C.W. That same year saw the first appearance of Audi’s famous Four Rings emblem, symbolizing the union of the four manufacturers. In the 1930s, the company starred in racetracks with models that became iconic over the years, the main one being the Silver Arrow.
After World War II, Auto Union moved its operations to Ingolstadt, which still serves as Audi’s hub. In 1964 Volkswagen bought half of the company’s shares and in 1965 Auto Union changed its name to one of the original brands that were under the group’s wings: Audi. That same year the Volkswagen Group acquired Audi in full and began production of models most of which were in fact Volkswagen cars bearing the Audi name, while making a number of changes to the original.
In the late 1960s, Audi first developed its identity as a manufacturer of luxury cars, after the first Audi 100 was secretly developed by a team of engineers. When the Audi 100 was introduced to Volkswagen’s management in 1968, it was already clear: Audi is an expert on German luxury. In 1972, the first generation of the Audi 80 appeared, a family car that became a legend and redefined the family luxury car market segment – to this day, the Audi A4 is the brand’s best-selling model.
However, 1980 is considered to be the most important year in the history of Audi: then an Audi car equipped with the dual propulsion system that became the hallmark of the senior Audi models: Quattro was first introduced. The original Audi Quattro introduced in 1980 has won a large number of rally races and is still considered a benchmark and groundbreaking. Quattro technology is integrated into many Audi models as part of the brand’s performance and safety concept.
Today Audi manufactures a wide range of luxury vehicles, off-road vehicles and city vehicles, from the compact Audi A1 to the Audi Q7 and R8. Out of a developed environmental awareness, Audi also markets in Israel the advanced e-tron models that incorporate electric propulsion.