August Horch: The Story of the German Engineer Who Founded the Audi Car Company

August Horch is known as the founder of Audi, a luxury car manufacturer from Germany. Audi is currently known to be quite successful in the global luxury car market. Technological sophistication and performance are the mainstay of this German car. Audi is also the main competitor for Mercedes-Benz and BMW in terms of sales of classy luxury cars.

The Audi company is known for its four-ring logo or emblem on their cars. All thanks to August Horch in building this car company so that it became one of the most successful car manufacturers in Europe. What’s the story?

Quick Info

Full NameAugust Horch
Birth DateOctober 12, 1868, Winningen, Germany
DiedFebruary 3, 1951, Münchberg, Germany
Known asFounder of the AUDI Company

August Horch Biography

August Horch was born in the city of Winningen, west Germany on October 12, 1868. Horch loved machines from a young age. As a teenager, August Horch worked as a journeyman construction machine apprentice in Mittweida. In this way, his skills regarding machines quickly developed. He completed his education at the University of Applied Sciences in Mittweida,

In 1896, he worked at the Mannheim automotive factory owned by Karl Benz, who was the founder of Mercedes Benz. Because of his skills in car engines, he quickly rose to become head of Karl Benz’s motor vehicle assembly department. Check more news at Deltsapure.

Established Horch & Cie Workshop

August Horch worked for Karl Benz’s company for three years. There he learned a lot about the still new automotive industry. He then founded a motor vehicle repair shop under the name ‘Horch & Cie’ in Cologne-Ehrenfeld, Germany.

There he began designing and designing his own car. The car he made was powered by two cylinders mounted at the front. He also designed an innovative vehicle combustion chamber with a lightweight engine crankcase. August Horch’s first car prototype was tested in January 1901.

Several years later, the founder of Audi began experimenting with advanced concepts such as axle drive to vehicle wheels. Use of chrome nickel steel gears. He then built several cars with two-cylinder engines with 4.5 to 5 HP.

Established the Company A. Horch Motorwagenwerke AG

In 1904, August Horch then founded a joint venture company called A. Horch Motorwagenwerke AG in Zwickau, Germany. The cars they make are quality cars with four-cylinder engines with 22 and 40 HP power. In 1908 more than 100 cars were made by the company.

However, relations between Horch and his company’s supervisory board then deteriorated. As a result, he left the company A. Horch Motorwagenwerke AG on June 16 1909. One month after his resignation, August Horch founded a new automotive company in Zwickau.

Founder of AUDI Car Company

The agreement with his first company, A. Horch Motorwagenwerke AG, prohibited him from using the Horsch name in the automotive business. Then Horsch’s colleague Franz Fikentscher suggested that Horch choose the name AUDI, which in German means “listen”. In 1909, Audi Automobilwerke was officially founded by August Horch in Zwickau, Germany.

Audi Automobilwerke then started car production in 1911. The Audi Type A 10/22 was made from 1912 to 1914. Then they produced the Audi Type C 14/35.

His car then won the Alpine Rally in Austria where August Horch himself was the driver. The Audi Model K was then introduced using standard left-hand drive and gear changes in the early 1920s.

Subsequently, August Horch then became an automotive technical expert for officials in Berlin, Germany. For his achievements in the automotive field, the founder of Audi was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Braunschweig College of Advanced Technology in 1922.

In 1927, Audi Automobilwerke launched the 1927 Audi type R with eight cylinders. After World War I, Germany’s finances were devastated, this also had an impact on the Audi company. This then led to DKW JS Rasmussen taking control of a majority stake in Audi in 1928.

Formed Auto Union AG

In 1932, the State Bank of Saxony called for the creation of Auto Union AG. This formation represents the combination of Audiwerke AG, Horchwerke AG, Zschopauer Motorenwerke JS Rasmussen AG (DKW) as well as the Wanderer Werke automobile division.

Audi founder August Horch has a seat on the Auto Union supervisory board. After this formation, Audi cars continued to be produced and developed until 1930 with front-wheel drive and aerodynamic designs.

During World War II, August Horch chose to live in Berlin. However, he chose to move to Saxony to avoid bombing by the Allies. In 1945, August Horch fled Soviet-occupied Chemnitz and settled in Münchberg.

Next, the Audi Auto Union car factories in Chemnitz, Zwickau and Zschopau were stopped. However, it was then re-formed in 1949 under the name Auto Union GmbH, which is headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany. August Horch became an honorary board member of the new company.

The founder of Audi died at the age of 83 on February 3, 1951. For his achievements, August Horch received an award as an influential figure in the automotive field at the American and European Automotive Hall of Fame. His name is also immortalized as the name of an automotive museum called The August Horch Museum on Audi Straße, Germany.

Current Audi

Audi is currently one of the world’s most famous luxury vehicle manufacturers. The current owner of Audi is the Volkswagen group which owns 99 percent of Audi. The Volkswagen Group annexed ownership of Audi AG in 1966.

The company founded by August Horch continues to grow and is known for its technological cars with good performance. The interior design of the Audi is well done with the all-wheel drive system which is a hallmark of Audi.

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