Audi is the name of a German car manufacturer based in the German Bavarian town of Ingolstadt. Audi has been nearly entirely owned by the Volkswagen Group since the year 1964. Audi was an evolution of numerous different groups, including NSU, DKW, Horch, and the Auto Union. It was DKW who eventually incorporated the historic Audi company, whose foundation goes back to the year 1910.
Audi’s tagline is “advancement through technology,” or, in the original German, “Vorspung durch Technik.” The American version of the tag line is “Truth in Configurationering.”
The origins of Audi can be traced back to the year 1899. August Horch first manufactured a Horch automobile in the year 1901 in the town of Zwickau. Eight years later, August Horch was then forced out of the company he had established. At that point, he started a new company in the town of Zwickau and continued to use the name Horch on his automobiles. At that point, his former company sued him for copyright infringement, at which point the German courts decided that the Horch name belonged to his former company. August Horch was then barred from using his own name in his new car operation.
At that point, August Horch called a meeting at the apartment of his friend Franz Fikentscher in order to come up with a new name for his business. At that point, Fikentscher’s son was in the room quietly studying Latin. It was he who suggested calling the company Audi, after the Latin “audiatur et altera pars…” This is because Audi means Hark in Latin (Hark in German is Horch.) Everyone at the meeting thought this an excellent idea. It is also believed by some that AUDI is an acronym for the Auto Union Deutschland Ingolstadt. This is not the truth however.
One of Audi's most sucessful cars, the Audi R8.