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Auto Union

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Auto Union
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A German manufacturer of cars, originally a combination of the companies Horch, Audi, DKW and Wanderer. Post WWII, a new version of the company was founded in 1949 and continued until 1969 when it merged with NSU to form the basis of the modern Audi company. The Auto Union logo, four interlocking rings representing the four companies, is still in use today by Audi.

Vehicle names used by Auto Union throughout its history include: Type C, Type D.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Auto Union page on 28 October 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Auto Union AG, Chemnitz, was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony. It is the immediate predecessor of Audi as it is known today.

As well as acting as an umbrella firm for its four constituent brands (Audi, Horch, DKW, Wanderer), Auto Union is widely known for its racing team (Auto Union Rennabteilung, based at Horch works in Zwickau/Saxony). The Silver Arrows of the two German teams (Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union) dominated not only GP car racing from 1934 onwards but set records that would take decades to beat, such as the fastest speed ever attained on a public road (at 432.7 km/h (268.9 mph), unbroken as of 2013). After being reduced to near ruin in the aftermath of World War II, Auto Union was re-founded in Ingolstadt, Bavaria in 1949, ultimately evolving into the modern day Audi company following its takeover by Volkswagen in 1964 and later merger with NSU Motorenwerke in 1969.

The current corporate entity which bears the Auto Union name – Auto Union GmbH – was founded in 1985 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG; its purpose is to act as owner of Auto Union's historical trademarks and intellectual property, as well as managing Audi's heritage operations. The company's distinctive logo, of four interlocking rings to represent the original four members of the Auto Union, survives as the logo of Audi.

Auto Union was formed in Germany in 1932 merging:

  • Zschopauer Motorenwerke J. S. Rasmussen (brand DKW – steam-driven car) founded by Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen in 1916, it branched out into motorcycles, and then front-drive two-stroke cars built at Audi works in Zwickau since 1931.
  • Horch – founded 1904 by August Horch in Zwickau. It built cars starting from straight-twin engines to luxury models with V8- and V12 engines.
  • Audi – because of disputes with the CFO, August Horch in 1909 left his namesake enterprise and founded Audi across town, building inline-four-, six- and eight-cylinder-engined cars. In 1928 Audi became a subsidiary of Zschopauer Motorenwerke.
  • Wanderer (only car division) – founded in 1911, with small four-cylinder cars and later a more luxurious straight-6 built in Siegmar (now Chemnitz)

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