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August Horch

Born: 12-Oct-1868
Birthplace: Winnenden, Germany
Died: 3-Feb-1951
Location of death: Muenchberg, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Winnenden Cemetery, Stuttgart, Germany

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Engineer, Business

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Founder of Audi

August Horch worked for Karl Benz for several years, rising to become factory manager at early automaker Benz & Company. In 1899 he established his own business, August Horch & Company, which had success for several years as a niche maker of technically advanced cars, including Germany's first vehicle with a four-cycle engine. In 1904 he took his business public, a move he later regretted, as stockholders voted him out of the company's presidency when sales slumped.

In 1910 he founded a new company, Horch Automobile Works, which led to an immediate lawsuit alleging trademark infringement filed by Horch's first company. A court subsequently ruled that Horch & Company owned the rights to August Horch's name, so he renamed his second company Audi, a Latin translation of Horch, which literally means "hark". He retired in 1920, and died 30 years later.

In 1932 Audi was merged with three other automakers (including Horch & Co.) to form Auto Union of Saxonian Motor Vehicle Builders, the corporate forebear of Audi AG, which is now a subsidiary of Volkswagen. The Auto Union nameplate was discontinued after 1964, but Auto Union's logo -- four interlocking rings to represent its four interlocked companies -- remains the nameplate on present-day Audi vehicles.

Father: Karl Horch (blacksmith)
Mother: Helene Michel Horch
Wife: Anna Schulz Horch (m. Sep-1897, adopted twins in 1928, d. 1946)
Wife: Else Kolmar Horch (m. 1948)

    University: BS Engineering, Mittweida College (1890)
    Teacher: Engineering, University of Braunschweig (1944-48)

    Audi Founder & President (1910-20)
    August Horch & Co. Founder & President (1899-1909)
    Benz & Company Factory Mgr. (1896-99)
    Automotive Hall of Fame
    German Ancestry

Author of books:
Ich Baute Autos (1937, memoir)

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