Audi, a German company, has been owned by Volkswagen since 1966. The company's logo (four interlaced circles) is actually based on the four car companies that banded together in 1932.
August Horch founded A. Horch & Cie on November 14, 1899. However, he was forced out only a few years later after a dispute with his supervisory board. He went on to create Horch Automobil-Weke GmbH but was then told by a court he was banned from using the trade name Horch. He invited a few friends over to come up with a new name. One made the connection that Horch, which means “listen”, can be translated to “Audi” in Latin.
|1910 Audi Type A|
Horch left his new Audi company in 1920 for a position at the ministry of transport, but remained on the board. In 1932, Audi merged with Horch, DKW, and Wanderer to become Auto Union and the four ring logo was adopted.
|1929-1932 Audi Zwickau|
The economic crisis in Germany prior to World War II though forced Audi to disappear from the new car market for more than 20 years. The plant was then used for military production and in 1949, the company restarted assembly of pre-war models in a damaged factory.
|1970 Audi 100|
In 1958, the company was owned by Daimler-Benz and the Audi name was only used again on a new car in 1965. Volkswagen then completely owned the company in 1966 and has owned in since. In the 90s, Audi began to shift its market to compete with Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Today, sales continue to increase for the Audi company and reported record sales in 2011.
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Sources: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi; CarType, http://cartype.com/pages/189/audi; Classic Cars Today Online, http://www.classiccarstodayonline.com/2012/04/27/youre-an-audi-fan-then-you-should-know-about-the-ingolstadt-factory-museum/1910-audi-type-a-x/; Georg Sander Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/geralds_1311/6214101101/; Mad 4 Wheels, http://www.mad4wheels.com/contents/model.asp?id_car=4115