Audi AG is the company responsible for production of cars of the Audi model. Though not a fully-fledged company themselves, Audi AG have made a huge profit on their successes over the years with cars such as the Audi TT. Audi AG is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group who own 99.7% of all shares in the company.
Audi AG’s motto is ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, which translates into English as ‘Advancement through technology’. It is this attitude towards technology and class that has set Audi aside from its competitors since the company was formed all the way back in 1899 by August Horch.
The first Audi car was produced in 1901 – albeit under the company name ‘Horch’, named after the founder. Horch was himself however expelled from the company in 1909, and founded Audi as a second company to rival Horch. The first cars Audi produced were 2.6L four cylinder models and 3.6L models, gaining speed and momentum already in sales figures and profit.
During the Second World War, Audi provided a lot of cars and specially designed military vehicles to the German armed forces to aid them in their efforts. After May 1940, no more civilian production took place, with the company (now known as the ‘Auto Union’ after a merger) decided to provide vehicles solely for military usage.
In 1964, well after the war had finished, the Volkswagen Group moved in and bought a majority share of the company, a decision that would prove to be remarkably profitable, revolutionizing the company and allowing it to surpass all limits anyone could have imagined for it.
After another merger in the late 1960s, the ‘Auto Union’ became known as ‘Audi NSU Auto Union AG’. The first car to be released after this merger was the Audi 100, another instant success, followed by the Audi 80 and Audi 50 not long after. The Audi 50 was renamed the Volkswagen Polo in 1974.
Audi at this point had an image of conservatism, and to remedy this they decided to move into the racing and high performance markets. The Audi Quattro, a turbocharged coupe was released to help with their aims in this sector.
In the early 21st century, Audi is continuing to do well, with sales and profits growing on a yearly basis, and Audi continuing to be regarded as one of the most successful car companies ever. In 2008, over a million units were sold, and the profit was around three trillion euros, with a turnover over ten times this. Audi provides employment to over fifty thousand people in countries worldwide and remains a formidable force in the car industry today.