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Auto Union

Auto Union GmbH, Ingolstadt.
Filed under:  Companies
 
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In 1945, after the end of the Second World War, Auto Union AG was expropriated by the occupying Soviet forces. The company's leading figures consequently moved to Bavaria, where a new company was founded in Ingolstadt in 1949 under the name of Auto Union GmbH, to uphold the motor vehicle tradition of the company with the four-ring emblem.


auto union logo 32

1932 Auto Union logo.

The first vehicles to leave the company's production line after its new start were DKW's successful models with two-stroke engines — motorcycles, cars and delivery vans.

A new Auto Union model appeared on the market in 1965, the company's first post-war vehicle with a four-stroke engine. To emphasize this dawning of a new era, a new product name was likewise needed: the traditional name of Audi was resurrected.

A short time later, the last DKWs rolled off the production line in Ingolstadt. From then on, the new models with four-stroke engines were produced under the brand name "Audi".

A new era had begun in another sense, too: the Volkswagen Group acquired the Ingolstadt-based company in 1965.

(source: Audi)


autounion emblem

Auto Union emblem. (source: John Lloyd)

auto union poster 2

The four-ring trademark comprised the four original marques of Audi, Horch, Wanderer and DKW, car and motorcycle manufacturers originally all based in Saxony. In 1932, the four merged to form Auto Union AG and became the second-largest motor vehicle company of its day. Auto Union enjoyed rapid expansion between 1933 and 1939 and its consolidated sales of motorcycles and motor cars rose from 65 to 276 million Reich marks. Annual production of motorcycles soared from 12,000 to 59,000 and car production from 17,000 units to more than 67,000 per year. This extremely rare showroom poster would have been displayed circa 1935 and features a range of wonderful cabriolets and limousines. (source: available at Art Of Motoring).

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