Audi AG is a German car manufacturer known for its lineup of luxury vehicles. It is a member of the larger Volkswagen Group, which includes a host of other upscale car and motorcycle brands.
Audi's history started in 1899, when August Horch formed his first automobile firm, August Horch & Cie, in Cologne, Germany. Ten years later, he left the company and established a second one which he registered as Audiwerke AG, Zwickau. Horch chose the name "Audi" because it was the Latin translation of his surname and "Zwickau" to represents the firm's location. Five years later, Horch's second organization was renamed Audiwerke AG Zwickau.
In 1920, Horsch left the firm serve in Germany's transport ministry, but not before establishing Audi as a prominent international brand. During his time, the company produced cars that proved successful in sporting events, including the Austrian Alpine Run.
Audi was the first German car maker to offer a left-hand drive vehicle, the Audi Type K, which became popular in the 1920S. In 1928, engineer Jørgen Rasmussen bought a majority stake in Audi, and in 1932, he merged the company with his other firms DKW and Wanderer, as well as Horch to create the Auto Union. This gave birth to the four interlocking rings that has since served as Audi's logo.
Auto Union became the first European manufacturer to produce a car that ran on a six-cylinder engine when it launched the front-wheel drive Audio Front. During the World War II, the company diverted focus to supplying armored cars for the military, which made them a target of the Allied Forces. The aftermath of the war saw Audi's factory in shambles, and eventually, in 1948, Auto Union AG was erased from the commercial register.
Auto Union executives relocated to Ingolstadt, Bavaria, where it opened a spare parts operation in 1945. Meanwhile, the Zwickau factory resumed activities as soon as 1949 and saw immediate success post-war through the Trabant model, which was in production until 1991. A new investor enabled the construction of a huge car plant at the Ingolstadt headquarters. In 1958, Daimler-Benz acquired 87 percent shares in Auto Union, increasing it to 100 percent just the following year.
In the 1960s, under Daimler-Bez ownership, the company transitioned to producing cars with four-cylinder, four-stroke engine, giving rebirth to the name "Audi," which was used as the designation type for such cars.
In 1964, VW acquired 50 percent shares of the company and eventually bought Auto Union's factory with the intention of using it to assemble Volkswagen Beetles. The unveiling of the Audi 100, which was secretly developed by Auto Union engineers, allowed Auto Union to keep a separate identity from VW. In the 1970s, the launch of Audi-branded models including the Audi 80, 60, 75, 80, and Super 90 sealed further Audi's branding in the market.
Audi continued its technological evolution in the 1980s, launching the first four-wheel drive sports car, the turbocharged Quattro. The company's business name was then revised to Audi AG, and this also marked the organization's shift to producing luxury vehicles for which it is globally known today.
In the Philippines, Audi is exclusively distributed by PGA Cars, Inc., which also carries the Porsche brand. PGA Cars is a member of the Coyiuto Group of Companies, which is also engaged in insurance, securities, real estate, oil exploration, air transport, and publishing businesses. PGA Cars has a 7,900sqm-facility, where maintenance and repair works utilizing the latest diagnostic equipment are carried out. It also houses a showroom, a Theoretical Training Room, and a Practical Training Workshop area. Audi has three dealers in the Philippines: Audi Greenhills, Audi Global City, and Audi Alabang.
Audi's bestselling models in the Philippines include the A4 and the Q5.
The Audi Q5 luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) has been well-received in many markets worldwide since its debut in 2008. This multi-awarded nameplate boasts of a quattro drive with ultra technology, adaptive air suspension, powerful and efficient engines, and impressive list of safety as well as infotainment systems. It is available in two variants. One runs on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder inline turbocharged petrol engine equipped with direct fuel injection and Audi valve lift system. The other is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with common rail injection system. Both are mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and have all-wheel drive configuration.
The A4 is a bestselling sedan from Audi. Launched in 2015, this model is known to carry several intelligent technologies. The all-new A4 is also one of the safest cars in its category, having received the highest rating of five stars for pedestrian protection and adult and child safety from the Euro NCAP. It is offered in two engine types: a 1.4-liter TFSI turbo petrol engine and a 2.0-liter TDI engine, both of which are attached to a seven-speed S Tronic transmission.
Another noteworthy model is the Q7, Audi's flagship crossover SUV. Now on its second generation, this seven-seater stands out with its lightweight design, drive design, driver-assist features, and top-of-the-line infotainment system. It is available in two engine options: a 2.0-liter TFSI or a 3.0-liter TDI V6 power train mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both come with Audi's all-wheel drive Quattro setup.Other Info
Audi operates seven manufacturing plants in Europe. These include the factories in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in Germany, and facilities in Brussels, Belgium; Győr (Hungary); Kaluga, Russia; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Martorell, Spain. In the Americas, the organization has manufacturing operations in Curitiba, Brazil and San Jose Chiapa, Mexico. It also opened a new assembly plant in Relizane, Algeria.