Skip to content
Audi MediaCenter

Tradition

Audi Tradition in Goodwood: revival of the Silver Arrow era

The eventful and varied history of AUDI AG extends back to the 19th century. Find out more about the great personalities from the brand’s 100-plus years of history. Learn about the fascinating evolution of the various models and major milestones in the fields of car manufacturing, engine production and motor racing.

Recent Press Releases

  • 07/08/21
    Company

    A Slogan with History: Audi marks 50 Years of “Vorsprung durch Technik”

    The Audi slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik” is marking its 50 year anniversary this year. Even half a century after its inception, the world-famous slogan of the Four Rings hasn’t lost any of its appeal. And each year, there’s a little bit more history behind it. On this momentous occasion, the company is looking back at a plethora of innovations over five decades that demonstrate why “Vorsprung durch Technik” isn’t just a slogan for Audi – it’s also an expression of the company’s future-oriented approach.
  • 12/22/20
    Tradition

    Audi Anniversary Dates 2021

    Audi Tradition is releasing its latest "Anniversary Dates 2021" digital booklet which provides you with the most important dates concerning Audi's company and product history. Outstanding this year: the Audi core message "Vorsprung durch Technik" ("progress through technology" or "the technical edge") which first appeared in an Audi commercial fifty years ago.
  • 12/18/20
    Tradition

    Audi Tradition and Auto Union GmbH under new management

    After 21 years in the service of Audi history, Thomas Frank is ending his activities as the head of Audi Tradition and Managing Director of Auto Union GmbH and retiring at the end of 2020. Stefan Trauf will succeed him on January 1, 2021.
  • 12/10/20
    Tradition

    Audi museum mobile celebrates its 20th birthday

    It will soon be twenty years since the Audi museum mobile first opened its doors on 15 December 2000. Over the first twenty years of the new millennium, Audi AG has added many chapters to its success story. During that time automotive classics have been created and new milestones in technological development set. To mark the museum's 20th anniversary, this gap has now been closed, giving visitors to the Audi museum mobile a better understanding of the more recent years in Audi's history. From 15 December, 34 new historic vehicle exhibits await visitors to the Audi museum mobile.
  • 01/31/20
    Tradition

    Audi Tradition celebrates 40 years of quattro

    This year, too, Audi Tradition will be taking part in over a dozen national and international events, thereby celebrating a particularly special anniversary. Exactly 40 years ago, the company with the four rings presented the Audi quattro and, in doing so, took its first step into the premium segment. Traditional items on the event calendar include the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Classic Days at Schloss Dyck, the Eifel Rallye in Daun and Donau Classic, where we will, of course, be placing quattro models in the limelight as part of this special anniversary year.

Historic Models

01/01/15
Tradition

Audi

After parting company from Horch Motorwagenwerke AG, August Horch established a new company in 1909, again with the declared aim of building automobiles. Since Horch was unable to make further use of his own name as an automobile brand, he resorted to the device of translating his own name into Latin: “Horch“ (“Listen!“) became “Audi”. This was the starting point for the Audi factory in Zwickau.
01/01/15
Tradition

Auto Union

On 29 June 1932, Audiwerke, Horchwerke and Zschopauer Motorenwerke/DKW merged on the initiative of the State Bank of Saxony to form Auto Union AG. At the same time a purchase and leasing agreement was concluded with the Wanderer company for the acquisition of its automobile department. The new group had its headquarters in Chemnitz. When Auto Union AG was established, it was the second-largest motor vehicle manufacturer in Germany. The four interlocking rings chosen as its emblem symbolised the indissoluble unity of the four member-companies. The brand names Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer were retained. Each of the four brands was allocated a specific market segment within the new company: DKW (motorcycles and small cars), Wanderer (medium-size cars), Audi (cars in the upper midsize market segment), Horch (top-class luxury cars).
01/01/15
Tradition

DKW

Established originally in 1902 as Rasmussen & Ernst in Chemnitz, the company moved to Zschopau, in Germany’s Erzgebirge mountains, in 1907. It first manufactured and sold waste steam oil traps and other components for steam raising plant, and later added centrifuges of all kinds and painting equipment to its product range. It also supplied car parts such as mudwings and vehicle lighting. The company's founder Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen began to experiment with a steam-driven motor vehicle in 1916, registering "DKW" as a trademark. By 1919 the company’s name had been changed to Zschopauer Motorenwerke and it was manufacturing small two-stroke engines. This led in 1922 to the successful introduction of motorcycles bearing the DKW name. The first small DKW motor car appeared on the market in 1928.
01/01/15
Tradition

Horch

By the end of the nineteenth century several companies in Germany were already building cars. Among them was August Horch & Cie., established on 14 November 1899 in Cologne. August Horch was one of the pioneer figures of automotive engineering. Before setting up business on his own, he worked for Carl Benz in Mannheim for three years as Head of Automobile Production. In 1904 August Horch moved his business to the town of Zwickau and transformed it into a share-issuing company. Following differences between the Executive and Supervisory Boards, August Horch left his company in 1909.
01/01/15
Tradition

NSU

The NSU company was founded in 1873 by two mechanics from the Swabian region of Germany in the town of Riedlingen an der Donau. Seven years later it moved to Neckarsulm. In the first 20 years of its existence, it manufactured knitting machines. In 1886 the proprietors of the knitting machine factory opened a department devoted to building bicycles. From then on, two-wheeled road vehicles were to govern the company’s fortunes. Motorcycle production started in 1901, and the company’s first cars appeared five years later. Car production ceased in 1929, however, when the company decided to concentrate fully on its bicycles and motorcycles. It was almost three decades later, in 1958, when car production recommenced in Neckarsulm. On March 10, 1969 Auto Union GmbH, Ingolstadt joined forces with NSU Motorenwerke AG, Neckarsulm. The new company, known as Audi NSU Auto Union AG, was established retrospectively from January 1 onwards and had its head offices in Neckarsulm.
01/01/15
Tradition

Wanderer

In 1885, the two mechanics Johann Baptist Winklhofer and Richard Adolf Jaenicke opened a repair business for bicycles in Chemnitz. Shortly afterwards they began to make bicycles of their own, since demand at that time was very high. These were sold under the brand name Wanderer, and in 1896 the company itself began to trade as Wanderer Fahrradwerke AG. Wanderer built its first motorcycle in 1902. The idea of branching out into motor car production was finally put into practice in 1913. A small two-seater that people nicknamed "Puppchen" (loosely translated as “Baby Doll”) heralded in Wanderer's tradition of motor car production that was to last several decades.
Back to top