History of the Audi Automobile Sold by Car Dealers

By: Trevor Mulholland

The company that manufactures the cars sold by Audi Oakland and other Audi dealerships can be traced to August Horch, whose company produced the first Horch car in 1901 in Zwickau, Germany.

Horch was forced out of the company in 1909 by his partners but he established a new company in Zwickau and continued to sell cars with the Horch brand. However, he was sued by his former partners for trademark infringement and was forced to refrain from using his own name for his new automobile manufacturing business, which was the forerunner of the present Audi company that produces the cars sold by auto dealerships like Audi Oakland.

Horch and his family decided to call the company Audi, which is the Latin word for the German word "horch." The company merged with DKW, Horch and Wanderer in 1932 which resulted into the establishment of Auto Union. It was during this period that the four interlinked rings were first used by the company, but only for the Auto Union racing cars. Each ring represents the four companies which merged.

Auto Union was fully acquired by Daimler-Benz in 1959 and Volkswagen purchased the factory in Ingolstadt, Germany and the brands of the Auto Union in 1964. Auto Union merged with NSU in 1969 to produce Audi NSU Auto Union AG. However, the company was simplified into Audi AG when the NSU and Auto Union brands lost some of their market appeal in 1985.

Audi sales declined in the early 1990s for the Audi 80 series when some basic construction problems were discovered. A "60 Minutes" report in the U.S. revealed that the Audi automobile accelerated even when the brake pedal was pushed. It was later discovered that the accelerator and brake pedals were located too closely which resulted in the driver confusing one with the other.

Sales in the U.S. started to climb back up in the middle of the 1990s with the emergence of the Audi A4 in 1996. Audi's sales continued to improve with the release of the A4, A6 and A8 series, which were co-developed with Volkswagen and other sister brands. Record sales figures were reached in 21 out of the 50 major sales markets in 2004. The biggest sales increases were obtained from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The latest development in the Audi automobile is the computerized control system called Multi Media Interface (MMI), which is considered more user friendly. The MMI control system for Audi automobiles sold by Audi Oakland and other Audi dealerships has been well-received because it needs less menu surfing due to the alignment of its buttons which are concentrated around a central knob, with shortcuts to phone or radio functions. The screen is available in monochrome and color versions and is mounted on the upright dashboard.

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