Lecture Evening at the Audi museum mobile: “Audi, 1909 to 1940 – The Cars, The Brand, The Company”

source: Audi AG

When August Horch founded his company Audi in Zwickau in 1909, there were some 50 car brands in Germany. Today, only four of them remain. One is Audi. Ralf Hornung, author and longtime Audi Tradition employee, has tracked down a great many cars for AUDI AG’s historical vehicle collection over the course of his career. His lecture, titled “Audi, 1909 to 1940 – the cars, the brand, the company”, will be held on Wednesday, October 18, starting at 6 PM at the Audi museum mobile; please register in advance.

After August Horch had left the company he founded and was no longer allowed to use the name “Horch” for subsequent ventures, he soon succeeded in establishing the Audi brand with his new company founded in 1909. Audi automobiles were considered excellent in terms of design, but economic success failed to materialize. Beginning in 1929, the Great Depression exacerbated the company’s economic difficulties. As a result, on the initiative of the State Bank of Saxony, the four manufacturers Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged to form Auto Union AG in 1932. This made Auto Union AG the second-largest motor vehicle manufacturer at the time. The emblem of the newly formed stock corporation showed four interlocking rings, one ring for each brand, representing the inseparable unity of the four founding companies. Audi prospered by bringing beautiful automobiles to the market until the switch to a wartime economy during World War II and the dissolution of Auto Union AG after the war meant that the Audi brand disappeared for a long time and was not resurrected until 1965 with the new Audi, later called the Audi 72.

Ralf Hornung will recount more than three decades of early Audi history, from 1909 to 1940. His knowledge of the Audi models from that period comes from three decades as a media archivist and as responsible for restoration projects at Audi Tradition. Hornung is also the co-author of the definitive book “Audi Automobile 1909 – 1940: Das Unternehmen. Die Marke. Die Autos”, published by Delius Klasing Verlag.