An example of resilience
August Horch was a pioneering German entrepreneur who founded not one but two auto companies that bore his name.
Horch was one of a generation of automotive executives and entrepreneurs who drew both inspiration and practical experience from Daimler and Benz.
Horch worked as production manager for Carl Benz for three years starting in 1896. Horch drew on that to found his own business, August Horch & Cie, in November 1899. Within a year he was road testing his company's first automobile.
Horch established himself as an engineering innovator from the start. His first car had a friction clutch and shaft-driven rear wheels.
He built his first four-cylinder car in 1903 and introduced a six-cylinder model four years later.
Horch cars were considered advanced alternatives to the models produced by large brands including Benz and Mercedes.
In 1904, economic troubles forced Horch to move the company from Cologne to Zwickau in the eastern German state of Saxony and to convert his business into a joint-stock company, a move he would later regret.
Following a dispute in 1909, Horch's shareholders forced him to step down. He later lost the right to use the Horch name on his cars.
The setbacks didn't stop Horch for long. He established a new car company in 1910, naming it Audi, the Latin translation of his surname.
The first Audis were successful in racing and rallying events but demands of the times -- Horch was forced to supply the military with armored vehicles -- slowed the company's development. After World War I, he led Audi and became involved with government boards regulating the automobile, serving as a representative for the auto industry.
Financial difficulties forced Horch to sell Audi to the newly formed Auto Union conglomerate in 1932. That company also had absorbed Horch's former business.
But because of his broad contributions to the auto industry, Horch was named an honorary citizen of Zwickau and became an honorary professor at Braunschweig Technical University prior to his death in 1951. He published his autobiography, I Made Cars, in 1937.