History of Audi
Audi AG was founded by German innovator August Horch and the company's first vehicle, the Type B, was released in 1924. Horch left Audi in 1920 to work at the Ministry of Transport but remained on the board of trustees. During September 1921 Audi became the first German car manufacturer to release a production car, the Audi Type K. This vehicle featured left-hand drive, something that went on to become highly popular during the 1920s as it provided a safer view of oncoming traffic. In 1928 Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen purchased the majority of the shares in Audi. Rasmussen also acquired the Rickenbacker automobile company during the same period. Subsequently eight cylinder Rickenbacker engines were implemented into vehicles such as the Audio Zwickau and Dresden.
During World War II Audi factories were overrun by the Soviet Army and dismantled to be used as part of war reparations. The company was reformed and relaunched on 3rd September 1949 thanks to the new West German Auto Union, Ingolstadt. Audi then began to produce vehicles in the same vein as it had pre World War II. These included vehicles with front-wheel drive and two-stroke engines such as the DKW delivery van. In 1964 50% of holding in the business was purchased by Volkswagen. The company then focused on improving its lineup, chiefly with the inclusion of four-stroke engines in vehicles such as the Audi F103.
In 1990 the company released the Audi V8 to compete with models from fellow German manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Throughout the 1990s Audi continued to release critically and commercially successful models such as the 4 cylinder Audi 80, the Audi 100 and the turbocharged Audi 200. Currently the company is working on creating hybrid and electronic vehicles that are environmentally friendly. Audi is also planning an alliance with Japanese electronics company Sanyo to develop electronic hybrid vehicles.