Audi AG is an automobile manufacturer that has been owned by the Volkswagen Group since 1966. Prior to that, the company (then known as Auto Union) had been owned by Daimler-Benz. Audi itself was founded in 1909, although other companies that it purchased or merged with can be traced back even further (such as Wanderer, which was founded in 1885).

audio logo

The “four rings” Audi logo represents the merging of Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer in 1932.


History of Audi

The name of the company can be traced back to an earlier company, Horch & Cie, which was in 1899 by August Horch. When Horch left that company to start a new one in 1909, he was unable to use his name again. The solution was to translate “horch” (“hark” or “listen” in english) into Latin: audi. This became the name of Horch’s new company, and it has persisted throughout the years as the company has undergone many changes.

Although Audi as a brand name and car badge fell out of use for a number of years, it was revived after the Volkswagen Group purchased the Auto Union group (which itself was renamed Audi AG.) Today, Audi is considered to be the Volkswagen Group’s luxury brand, and it is one of the so-called “Big Three” German luxury automobiles (with Mercedes-Benz and  BMW being the other two.)

Today, Audi manufacturers and sells vehicles all around the world, and its yearly profits account for almost all of the Volkswagen Group’s yearly operating profits (as several of Volkswagen’s other brands post significant losses each year.)

Audi vehicles are built at two plants in Germany (Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm) and seven other plants spread across Europe and Asia. By 1016, Audio expects to open its first North American manufacturing facility in Mexico to supply demands in that part of the world.

Vital Data

Founded: Zwickau, Germany (1909)
Current headquarters: Ingolstadt, Germany
Yearly production: 1,466,059 vehicles (2012)
Employees: ~46,000
Owner: Volkswagen Group
Subsidiaries: Ducati, Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A, Lamborghini, Quattro

Audi Contact Information

North America

(800) 822-2834
(800) 822-AUDI

Financial Services


Box 5215
Carol Stream, IL 60197-5215

JD Laukkonen

JD Laukkonen turned wrenches in the north end of Seattle for a decade, so he's no stranger to the inner workings of modern automobiles. He has worked as a freelance writer since closing his shop in 2007, and he currently covers automotive technology for

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