Have you ever stopped to wonder what the four rings on the Audi emblem signify? They are in fact a symbol of this auto company’s fascinating history.
As Germany’s oldest-established automobile manufacturers, Audi is actually an amalgamation of four previously separate companies - Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer – hence the four rings.
The newly formed joint enterprise (1932) was originally named Auto Union AG but in 1965 the decision was made to adopt the name Audi AG.
What’s in a name?
The name’s origins are equally interesting. The founder of the company was August Horch. As Horch means listen in German, the decision was made to use the Latin equivalent of listen, which is audi.
Why do two companies that came together in 1932 have names linked to the founder? August Horch set up one company bearing his name, then after disagreements with the board he launched a new firm, which needed a new name – Audi. Eventually, he owned both businesses carrying his name.
From snow to go
The turning point in the company’s fortunes came about when August Horch had the foresight to become involved in the Austrian Alpine Runs (even competing himself). This brought Audi cars into the international limelight.
The titular founder eventually stepped aside, and Audi AG grew to become the automobile giant it is today.
That surprisingly catchy slogan
The Audi became a car model known for its wide variety of engine and drive capabilities. The company created a brand identity around “beautiful design and intelligent, state-of-the-art technology”.
From this an advertising executive coined the company’s famous long-standing slogan, “Vorsprung durch Technik” (advancement by technology).
Even that well known expression has its own back story. It was first suggested for branding purposes in 1982 and has been used by Audi since. However, it took a seven year legal battle in more recent times to secure the right to extend the slogan’s trademark protection to include a range of merchandise, such as clothing.
Clearly, determination is also a feature of the history of the Audi. It has been uncompromising in its pursuit of automobile excellence and strong brand identity since the days of August Horch.