FOUNDED: 1910 (Saxony, Germany)
FOUNDER(S): August Horch
YEARS OF OPERATION: 1910–present
BEST-KNOWN MODELS: Quattro, A4, TT, R8One of today’s most recognizable motoring badges is the four-ring symbol of the Audi brand. The emblem symbolizes the merger of four previously independent German manufacturers in 1932. Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer joined forces to create the Auto Union marque. Initially, the marques’ original badges appeared inside each ring. These were later dropped and “Auto Union” imposed over the top in a rectangle. Volkswagen (VW) took over Auto Union in the 1960s and merged it with another German motor manufacturer, NSU, in 1969. This didn’t add another ring to the badge. VW did, however, reintroduce the Audi brand and it became the Group’s upscale arm. Audi still forms part of the giant VW empire, which now also includes makers as diverse as Skoda (see here), Seat (see here), Bentley (see here), Lamborghini (see here), and Bugatti (see here). Audi is now one of the biggest-selling luxury car brands in the world.