Naturally, his former associates were horrified at the creation of a rival make with the same name and they sued him. The matter was resolved when Horch renamed his company Audi – the translation of his surname into Latin, meaning ‘listen’.
In 1932, Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer merged to form Auto Union, best remembered for its pre-war racing car.
After 23 year separation, Audi and Horch were reunited under the Auto Union umbrella.
Mercedes Benz acquired the company and produced cars using the DKW brand. In 1964 Volkswagen acquired a 50 per cent holding in the Auto Union business, by then owner of the Audi brand which included the new factory in Ingolstadt and the trademark rights’ of the Auto Union.
It was Volkswagen that revived the Audi name which in return helped its parent company with advanced front-wheel drive technology.
Audi became a Volkswagen owned subsidiary in 1966, the ambition has been to keep the Audi brand distinct from the Volkswagen brand, but it wasn’t successful until a more pronounced differentiation was initiated in the early 1980s.
In 1985, Audi made history when a Sport Quattro S1 rally car equipped with DCT won the Pikes Peak hill climb.
History of Audi cars