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Audi's Brand History

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Audi

Audi's Brand History

Ronnie Tanner
Amazines.com
March 5, 2009

Located in Ingolstadt, Bavaria which is a state in southeast Germany, Audi has been nearly wholly owned by Volkswagen since 1964. Audi was acquired by Volkswagen Group when purchased the Auto Union and NSU Motorenwerke assets.

Audi has had a long standing history of innovation and classic design. As a German car company, Audi was built by German car manufacturer, August Horch. Forced out of the company he had founded in 1899, Horch began another company. He soon found himself in court being sued by his former partners for trademark infringement. The courts agreed with the former partners and barred August Horch from using his own family name for any future designs. Not to be deterred, Mr. Horch called a backroom meeting at Franz Fikentscher’s apartment. Franz’ son was present at the meeting, quietly studying his Latin. As the meeting was winding down, with no decision for a new name having been made, the son looked up and suddenly announced “wouldn’t it be a good idea to call it Audi instead of horch?". "Horch!" in German means "Hark!" or "listen", which is "Audi" in Latin (compare audible). August Horch thought this was a sensational idea and immediately adopted it.

Audi uses the tagline “Innovation through technology” in North America but in Canada the German tagline Vorsprung durch Technik which means “Advancement through technology” is now used in advertising.

Audi began to exert its influence in the luxury market in the early nineties. Its set its sights on a share of the market previously dominated by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The Audi V8 was the herald of the bold move and caused quite a sensation. Although Audi has made inroads into the competition, they still have not been able to wrestle away the lion’s share of the prize. However they are gaining ground.

1n 1994 Audi replaced the V8 with the A8 which had a revolutionary new frame, constructed of aluminum, Audi called this the Audi Space Frame. The weight reduction was offset by the Quattro four wheel drive system. This gave the car similar performance to its rivals but superior road holding.

Since the end of 2006 Audi has started using the latest white LED daytime running light technology as their new trademark for their new models. The style was first introduced in the R8, and is now being orientated to suit the whole Audi model range. As of 2009, LED DRLs are available throughout the current Audi model range.

Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at SWEngines. He writes about used Audi engines and choosing this as an alternative to costly car purchases.



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