More than a century ago, the German auto pioneer August Horch lent his name to two fledgling automakers.
In 1899, Horch, the 31-year-old head of the motor vehicle department at Karl Benz's firm in Mannheim, struck out on his own and founded A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen Werke.
A decade later, after a falling-out with his partners, Horch left the company and launched a new automaker in Zwickau, Germany.
But what to call the new company? With Horch (meaning "listen" or "hearken" in German) already taken as a trade name, he chose its Latin translation for his company one century ago: Audi.
Within a few years, Horch made the Audi name well known in Europe. Audi's victories in the Austrian Alpine Rally from 1911 to 1914 bolstered the brand. The Audi Type C 14 was especially successful and became known as the "Alpine Conqueror."
In 1914, Audi Automobilwerke GmbH went public, and the new Audi Werke AG introduced the first left-hand-drive car in Germany in 1921, the 50-hp Audi 14 Type K.
The Type M, with a six-cylinder engine, followed in 1923, and the Audi Imperator, the first Audi car powered by an eight-cylinder engine, was introduced in 1927.
A Dane, Joergen Skafte Rasmussen, the owner of the Zschopauer MotorenWerke, acquired a majority stake in Audi in 1928 and folded the firm into his own company.