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|Fate||1932 merged with DKW, Wanderer and Audi to form Auto Union|
|Successor||Auto Union (1932–1969)|
Audi NSU Auto Union (1969–1985)
Audi AG (1985–present)
|Headquarters||Zwickau, Saxony, Germany|
|August Horch, founder|
Horch [hɔʁç] was a car brand manufacturer, founded in Germany by August Horch & Cie at the beginning of the 20th century.
It is one of the predecessors of the present day Audi company, which itself resulted from the merger of Auto Union Aktiengesellschaft (AG) and NSU Motorenwerke in 1969. Auto Union AG in turn was formed in 1932, following the merger of Horch DKW, Wanderer and the original Audi Automobilwerke GmbH Zwickau, established by August Horch in 1910.
According to insiders, a resurrection is planned.
August Horch and his first business partner Salli Herz established the company on November 14, 1899 in the district of Ehrenfeld, Cologne in Cologne.August Horch had previously worked as a production manager for Karl Benz. Three years later, in 1902, he moved the company to Reichenbach im Vogtland. On May 10, 1904 he founded the Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG, a joint-stock company in Zwickau (Kingdom of Saxony). The city of Zwickau was the capital of the South Western Saxon County and one of Saxony's industrial centres at that time.
After troubles with the Horch chief financial officer, August Horch founded a second company on 16 July 1909, the August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH in Zwickau. He had to rename the company because Horch was already a registered brand and he did not hold the rights to the name. On 25 April 1910 the name Audi Automobilwerke was entered in the company's register at the Zwickau registration court. Audi is the Latin translation of horch, from the German verb "horchen", which means "listen!" (compare English "hark"). The Audi name was proposed by a son of one of Horch's business partners from Zwickau.
In 1932 both companies from Zwickau (Horch and Audi) merged with Zschopauer Motorenwerke J. S. Rasmussen (the DKW brand) and the Wanderer car-production facilities to become the Auto Union corporation of Saxony. The Silver Arrow racing cars of the Auto Union racing team in Zwickau—developed by Ferdinand Porsche and Robert Eberan von Eberhorst, and driven by Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck, Tazio Nuvolari and Ernst von Delius—became known the world over in the 1930s.
The company initially began producing 5 hp (3.7 kW; 5.1 PS) and 10 hp (7.5 kW; 10 PS) twin-cylinder engine automobiles near Cologne in 1901.
The first Horch had a 4.5 hp (3.4 kW; 4.6 PS) engine, with an alloy crankcase, a unique achievement in those days. It had an open-body design, with lighting provided by lanterns with candles in them. In contrast with the powerful cars of later years, the first Horch could barely reach a top speed of 32 km/h (20 mph). It was significant at that time because it used a friction clutch, and also had a drive shaft to power the wheels.
The firm soon ran into financial troubles, not surprising considering the pioneering nature of the automobile business at that time. Horch had to seek new partners.
In March 1902, August Horch produced a 20 hp (15 kW; 20 PS) four-cylinder car with a shaft drive in Reichenbach in Vogtland. Horch cars were considered[ by whom? ] more advanced and superior to those being then built by Mercedes or Benz (who were then separate manufacturers).
By 1903, Horch had built a car with a four-cylinder engine. In March of the following year, he introduced his new car at the Frankfurt Fair.
In 1904, August Horch developed the first six-cylinder engine, which appeared in 1907. In 1906 a Horch automobile driven by Dr. Rudolf Stöss from Zwickau won the Herkomer Competition (equivalent to a 'brand-name' world championship at the time). In the 1920s, Moritz Stauss, a cosmopolitan Berliner, was the principal stockholder of the Horch company. He succeeded in making the Horch brand highly desirable by introducing art into the advertising of their products. He recognized that only a brand emphasising Horch's unique characteristics would be successful.
In 1923, Paul Daimler (a Stauss associate) worked for Horch as the chief engineer for 8-cylinder engines. Horch vehicles were subsequently the first to introduce 8-cylinder engines in series production.[ citation needed ]
In 1909, the supervisory board (the German equivalent of the Board of Directors) of the corporation forced out Horch. Horch went on to found Audi as Audiwerke GmbH, which became effective on 25 April 1910. The name was a solution to the legal dispute with his old company over use of the Horch brand and a clever play of words ("audi" is the literal Latin translation of the Old German "horch", meaning the imperative "Listen!").
In 1928, the company was acquired by Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen, owner of DKW (from the German Dampfkraftwagen, or steam engine vehicle) who had bought the remains of the US automobile manufacturer Rickenbacker in the same year. The Rickenbacker purchase included their manufacturing equipment for eight-cylinder engines.
Eventually, on 29 June 1932, Horch, Audi, DKW and Wanderer merged to form the Auto Union AG, Chemnitz affiliated group. The current Audi four-ring logo is the Auto Union logo that represents the merger of these four brands. In the 1930s, Horch introduced a new line of smaller and cheaper, but still presentable, V8 automobiles. In 1936, Horch presented the 25,000th 8-cylinder luxury car in Zwickau.
The Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars types A to D, were developed and built by a specialist racing department of Horch works in Zwickau between 1933 and 1939. Between 1935 and 1937 Auto Union cars won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Tazio Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck and Achille Varzi.
Auto Union became a major supplier of vehicles to the German Wehrmacht, such as Heavy standard passenger car (Horch 108), Medium standard passenger car (Horch 901 and Wanderer 901) and Half-track Sd.Kfz. 11. Civilian production was suspended after March 1940. After the war the Auto Union AG at Chemnitz was dissolved and in Ingolstadt, West Germany the new Auto Union GmbH was founded, where civilian car production continued. Due to widespread poverty in postwar Germany, only small DKW vehicles with two stroke engines were produced. After Auto Union was purchased in 1964 by the Volkswagenwerk AG, the old brand Audi was introduced again, together with the new four stroke vehicle Audi F103. Daimler-Benz retained the trademark rights to the Horch brand until the mid 1980s. Daimler-Benz then transferred the rights to the Horch brand name to Audi which in turn signed a waiver to use the name „Silberpfeil“ (silver-arrow) for any modern Audi racing car. However, the brand has remained dormant.
The Romanian Army purchased 300 Horch 901 4x4 field cars to mechanize some of its anti-tank companies.
During the Second World War, the factories suffered heavy bomb damage. Later, the advancing Soviet forces captured the area, and it became part of the Soviet sector of divided Germany in 1945, and later became part of East Germany.
From 1955 to 1958, old Horch factories produced the Horch P240, a six-cylinder car that was respected at the time. The former Horch and Audi operations from Zwickau were unified in 1958. A new brand, Sachsenring, within the East German corporation IFA was born. After unification in 1958, the P240 car was renamed as the Sachsenring P240. As the Soviet Administration inexplicably banned the foreign exportation of the P240, the East German economic administration decided to stop production of the vehicle. IFA also produced the initial Trabant "P-50" model from 1957.
The Zwickau site was acquired in 1991 by Volkswagen, effectively restoring its connection with Audi.
On June 24, 2006, a rare 1937 Horch 853A Sport Cabriolet in original unrestored, unprepared condition sold at auction in Cortland, NY for US$299,000.
In the late 1930s, Horch supplied a limited number of promotional scarves bearing the Horch logo. Sent only to the wealthiest drivers, it is a major collectible amongst diehard enthusiasts of the pre-war car era. However, there is also a degree of controversy associated with these scarves as they were commonly sought by senior SS members.
|4-15 PS||1900–1903||straight-2||2.9-3.7 kW||60 km/h|
|10-16 PS||1902–1904||straight-2||7.4-8.8 kW||62 km/h|
|22-30 PS||1903||straight-4||2,725 cc||16.2-18.4 kW|
|14-20 PS||1905–1910||straight-4||2,270 cc||10.3-12.5 kW|
|18/25 PS||1904–1909||straight-4||2,725 cc||16.2 kW|
|23/50 PS||1905–1910||straight-4||5,800 cc||29 kW||100 km/h|
|26/65 PS||1907–1910||straight-6||7,800 cc||44 kW||120 km/h|
|25/60 PS||1909–1914||straight-4||6.395 cc||40 kW||110 km/h|
|10/30 PS||1910–1911||straight-4||2,660 cc||18.4 kW|
|K (12/30 PS)||1910–1911||straight-4||3,177 cc||20.6 kW||75 km/h|
|15/30 PS||1910–1914||straight-4||2,608 cc||22 kW||80 km/h|
|H (17/45 PS)||1910–1919||straight-4||4,240 cc||33 kW|
|6/18 PS||1911–1920||straight-4||1,588 cc||13.2 kW|
|8/24 PS||1911–1922||straight-4||2,080 cc||17.6 kW||70 km/h|
|O (14/40 PS)||1912–1922||straight-4||3,560 cc||29 kW||90 km/h|
|Pony (5/14 PS)||1914||straight-4||1,300 cc||11 kW|
|25/60 PS||1914–1920||straight-4||6,395 cc||44 kW||110 km/h|
|18/50 PS||1914–1922||straight-4||4,710 cc||40 kW |
|S (33/80 PS)||1914–1922||straight-4||8,494 cc||59 kW|
|10 M 20 (10/35 PS)||1922–1924||straight-4||2,612 cc||25.7 kW||80 km/h|
|10 M 25 (10/50 PS)||1924–1926||straight-4||2,612 cc||37 kW||95 km/h|
|8 Typ 303/304 (12/60 PS)||1926–1927||straight-8||3,132 cc||44 kW||100 km/h|
|8 Typ 305/306 (13/65 PS)||1927–1928||straight-8||3,378 cc||48 kW||100 km/h|
|8 Typ 350/375/400/405 (16/80 PS)||1928–1931||straight-8||3,950 cc||59 kW||100 km/h|
|8 3 L Typ 430||1931–1932||straight-8||3,009-3,137 cc||48 kW|
|8 4 L Typ 410/440/710||1931–1933||straight-8||4,014 cc||59 kW|
|8 4.5 L Typ 420/450/470/720/750/750B||1931–1935||straight-8||4,517 cc||66 kW|
|8 5 L Typ 480/500/500A/500B/780/780B||1931–1935||straight-8||4,944 cc||74 kW (100 PS)||120–125 km/h|
|12 6 L Typ 600/670||1931–1934||V12||6,021 cc||88 kW (120 PS)||130–140 km/h|
|830||1933–1934||V8||3,004 cc||51 kW (70 PS)||110–115 km/h|
|830B||1935||V8||3,250 cc||51 kW (70 PS)||115 km/h|
|830Bk/830BL||1935–1936||V8||3,517 cc||55 kW (75 PS)||115–120 km/h|
|850/850 Sport||1935–1937||straight-8||4,944 cc||74 kW (100 PS)||125–130 km/h|
|830BL/930V||1937–1938||V8||3,517 cc||60 kW (82 PS)||120–125 km/h|
|830BL/930V||1938–1940||V8||3,823 cc||67.6 kW (92 PS)||125–130 km/h|
|851/853/853A/855/951/951A||1937–1940||straight-8||4,944 cc||74 kW (100 PS)||125–140 km/h|
Audi AG is a German automobile manufacturer that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury vehicles. Audi is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group and has its roots at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Audi vehicles are produced in nine production facilities worldwide.
August Horch was a German engineer and automobile pioneer, the founder of the manufacturing giant which would eventually become Audi.
DKW is a German car and motorcycle marque. DKW was one of the four companies that formed Auto Union in 1932 and is hence an ancestor of the modern day Audi company.
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Zwickau is, with around 89,000 inhabitants, the fourth-largest city of the Free State of Saxony after Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz and it is the seat of the Zwickau District. The West Saxon city is situated in the valley of the Zwickau Mulde, and lies in a string of cities sitting in the densely populated foreland of the Elster and Ore Mountains stretching from Plauen in the southwest via Zwickau, Chemnitz and Freiberg to Dresden in the northeast. From 1834 until 1952, Zwickau was the seat of the government of the south-western region of Saxony.
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Wanderer was a German manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, vans and other machinery. Established as Winklhofer & Jaenicke in 1896 by Johann Baptist Winklhofer and Richard Adolf Jaenicke, the company used the Wanderer brand name from 1911, making civilian automobiles until 1941 and military vehicles until 1945.
Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau, usually abbreviated as IFA, was a conglomerate and a union of companies for vehicle construction in the former East Germany.
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F103 is the internal designation for a series of car models produced by Auto Union GmbH in West Germany from 1965 to 1972, derived from the earlier DKW F102. To signify the change from a two-stroke to four-stroke engine, the DKW marque was dropped in favour of Audi, a name that had been dormant since before the Second World War.
The DKW F8 compact front-wheel drive two-stroke engined saloon was introduced in 1939. The F8 was slightly shorter than its predecessor despite having a marginally increased wheelbase. The base model, known as the Reichsklasse, was manufactured only till 1940 but the Meisterklasse sedan continued in production until 1942. In addition to the saloons, cabriolet versions were offered.
The Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars types A to D were developed and built by a specialist racing department of Auto Union's Horch works in Zwickau, Germany, between 1933 and 1939.
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Initially presented early in 1933, the Audi Front UW 220 was Europe’s first car to combine front-wheel drive with a six-cylinder engine. It remained in production for slightly under two years before being replaced by the Audi Front UW 225 featuring a larger 2.25-litre engine. The larger-engined car introduced in 1935 was built till April 1938 and continued to be listed into 1939. Between 1933 and 1938, the Front was the only Audi in volume production.
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The Audi Type P was a small two-door sedan/saloon car introduced by Audi in 1931. It was discontinued by 1932.
museum mobile is an automobile museum owned and operated by Audi AG in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Opened in 2000, it is devoted to the history of Audi and its predecessors, and is the focal point of the Audi Forum Ingolstadt.
The August Horch Museum Zwickau is an automobile museum in Zwickau, Saxony, Germany. Opened in 2004, it covers the history of automobile construction in Zwickau, the home of Horch and Audi prior to World War II, and Trabant during the Cold War-era German Democratic Republic.
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