Audi’s story: Behind the German Audi brand, which has a considerable place in the world automobile market today, there is a complex and interesting as well as an interesting story full of Nazis, sales and lawsuits. Let’s take a closer look at the journey of the Audi brand, one of the world’s automobile giants, which will be the subject of its story and novels from past to present.
In any car conversation, it is not without mentioning Audi brand cars. Although the German automotive giant is a world-renowned name today, of course, like no success, this has not happened in a day. The Audi brand, born in a small production factory, has produced vehicles for the Nazis, has been bought many times, and has struggled with lawsuits where it has almost reached its closure point.
In Germany, a state that has taken part in all the bloody wars in history and even divided into two for a while, it was unthinkable that the Audi brand would have a comfortable story. Every situation that happened to the country has also affected the Audi brand, sometimes it made it inoperable and even came to the point of closing the shutters. Yet Audi somehow held on and became one of the auto giants we know today.
At the end of the 1800’s, the foundations of the Audi brand are laid:
At the end of the 1800’s, which was not the previous century, but the previous century; To be exact, in 1885, a company called the Wanderer Company was founded by August Horch. August Horch, who founded one company in 1899 and another in 1904, drew obvious attention. The companies he founded had almost the same name as the old company he worked for.
When the trademark infringement lawsuit filed against August Horch was concluded, all these companies were closed and only Audiwerke AG Zwickau remained. So the Audi we know. The word Horch, which means “to listen” in German, is the equivalent of the Latin word Audi. Zwickau is the name of the city in the state of Saxony where the factory was established. The company officially took this name in 1915.
The first left hand drive car model:
The first car of the Audi company was the Audi Type A Sport-Phaeton, launched in 1910. The second model, the Type B, was also launched in the same year. Both models were used for sporting events rather than everyday use and won the Austrian Alpine Run three times in a row.
As in every story, the founder of the company leaves in the story of Audi. August Horch’s reason for leaving was to hold a high position in the ministry of transport. Fortunately, Audi had already become a proven brand by the time August Horch left. In this way, production continued without slowing down.
In 1920, Audi launched the Audi Type K model. This model had historical significance because the Type K was the first German left-hand drive car to be produced. The steering wheel was on the left, which was both healthier in terms of safety and easier use for the drivers. For this reason, left-hand drive cars have become widespread rapidly since this date.
The Audi logo appears:
The Audi logo, which is known by everyone today and has become one of the most important iconic symbols of history, took place years after its establishment. In fact, the origin of the logo was not to represent the Audi brand, but to represent an automobile association.
In 1928 Swedish engineer Jørgen Rasmussen bought a majority stake in Audi. Auto Union was founded in 1932, with Audi merging with DKW, Wanderer and Horch companies. The four intertwined rings, which will become the logo of the Audi brand in the following years, were actually created to represent the Auto Union union.
Everyone has noticed the similarity between the Audi logo and the logo of the Olympic games. The Olympic Committee noticed this and sued the company in 1995. The court ruling found the Olympic Committee unfair and ruled that there was no similarity between the two logos. Of course, there is a visual similarity, but there is no violation of opinion.
Hitler wants an armored vehicle:
In the following years everything went well for Audi, the union worked well. It even became the first European car company to produce a front-wheel drive car model with a six-cylinder engine. Then the Second World War started, which would have caused the whole world to smoke, and Audi had to direct its production power to a different area.
We don’t know if it really had to, but all of Audi’s factories stopped automobile production during World War II and started producing armored vehicles for the German army. Audi factories trying to train armored vehicles for Hitler attracted the attention of Allied forces and have been targeted by bombers over and over again. Fortunately, the war somehow ended.
The end of the war was an even greater devastation for Audi. Because the Zwickau factory, the main production point, remained in the Soviet-influenced East Germany region. The factory was dismantled piece by piece as war compensation, and Auto Union was deleted from the commercial register in 1948.
The production point was moved to the freer West Germany region by the rulers. The factory in East Germany continued production in some way, though not under the name Audi. The Trabant model produced here was accepted as a figure that symbolized the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the following years. More than 3 million were produced from the simply mediocre Trabant model.
Audi has been purchased by different companies over and over again:
Audi, which was re-established in 1949 within the scope of Marshall aid provided by the United States, continued to produce front-wheel drive vehicles, but could not find enough capital to mass production. The company was in a difficult situation.
Wanting to take advantage of this difficult situation, Daimler-Benz bought first part of the company and then the whole company in 1959. However, because the production model was not suitable for them, they were disposed of later. In 1969, Audi was bought by another important automobile giant, Volkswagen.
Volkswagen did not want Audi to design cars under its own brand name. They wanted to use the Audi factories as a kind of spare parts production point. Audi engineers did not accept this situation and in 1972 they produced the Audi 80 model and released it to the market. Audi dumped its dead soil and became independent again.
The lawsuit that brought the company to the point of closure:
Of course, everything went wrong again and this time the coup came from the new continent. Six people in the United States sued for unwanted acceleration in the Audi 5000 model. They claimed that 6 fatalities and 700 accidents between 1982 and 1987 were due to an unwanted acceleration failure seen in the Audi 5000 model.
As a result of research on these events mentioned in a program called 60 Minutes, it was revealed that all these events were fictionalized by the program producers. Due to a minor flaw in the system, the vehicle experienced a small acceleration, but the accident was not caused by this small acceleration, but by the excited driver. Audi was found not guilty as a result of the lawsuit.
Audi in the 21st century:
As we all know, Audi has now reached a level where it can compete with companies trying to buy it in time. The company, which continues to bring new breaths to the automotive world with models such as Audi A3, A6 and Q2, claims that Volkswagen vehicles are affected by the emission system in some models.
We told the story of the journey of the Audi brand, which has gained a significant place in the world automobile market, from yesterday to today, full of wars, lawsuits and sales. The most important lesson to be learned from the Audi story seems to never give up.