Auto Union History
Automotive manufacturers Chemnitz, Germany; from 1932 until 1969
The Auto Union AG , Chemnitz was the first German state automotive group. The foundation took place in June 1932 with the entry in the commercial register Chemnitz. The head office was initially in the DKW main plant Zschopau and not at the headquarters in Chemnitz. It was not moved until 1936 in the converted and expanded building of the former Chemnitz Presto works .This was born from the fusion of small car and motorcycle producers Zschopauer Motorenwerke JS Rasmussen ( DKW ) with its subsidiary Audi Werke AG of Zwickau , the Horch Werke AG (also Zwickau ) and the car plant Siegmar of Wanderer-Werke in Schoenau near Chemnitz .
The logo with the intertwined rings symbolized the merger of the four brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, which, however, remained independent. But the developed 1934-1939 at Horch in Zwickau Grand Prix racing car carried the "Auto Union" name; a car model of this brand did not exist until 1958 ( Auto Union 1000 ).Before the Second World War , the Auto Union Group was the second largest German car manufacturer after the Adam Opel AG .
The Zschopauer Motorenwerke JS Rasmussen AG was in 1928 the largest with 65,000 produced motorcycles motorcycle manufacturer in the world. In the same year took over their owner Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen with loans from the Saxon State Bank, the majority of shares of Audiwerke AG in Zwickau. In the wake of the Great Depression, Rasmussen's company entered a strained financial position in the early 1930s. The Sächsische Staatsbank, which in turn had a 25% stake in Zschopauer Motorenwerke AG since 1929, closed down further loans. Rasmussen and Richard Bruhn, The steward of the state bank, then developed the plan to unite the Zschopauer Motorenwerke with their daughter Audi and also in distressed Horchwerke AG . In addition, it was possible to conclude a ten-year lease agreement with the Wanderer plants in Schönau near Chemnitz for their Siegmar automobile plant . In addition, there were still negotiations on the inclusion of Hanomag and Brennabor , which, however, did not lead to success.As a result, the Auto Union AG, Chemnitz was founded on June 29, 1932 retroactively to November 1, 1931 and registered in the commercial register of the local court Chemnitz. The previously renovated and restructured Zschopauer engine plants were, now a Auto Union AG receiving company for the two previously debt-capital companies Audi and Horch, as independent brands continued to exist, but with the group was founded in the course of a share swap dissolved as a company de facto and Parts of the new group were. The two public companies Horch and Audi were thus no longer exist and both vehicle manufacturers were as Auto Union AG, Horch plant and Auto Union AG, Audi plant continued. Auto Union logos were the four intertwined rings symbolizing the Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer brands. With establishment of the Auto Union was established as enterprise seat Chemnitz . Only under this condition did the city of Chemnitz participate with a share capital of 750,000 Reichsmark in the company. Despite reminders was the Group's head office, the first year in DKW's main factory in Zschopau housed and was until 1936 to Chemnitz in the former administrative building of Presto works. According to the State Bank of Saxony was the city of Chemnitz second largest shareholder. The State Bank initially held 75% and soon 90% of the share capital of the new group.
In the 1930s, the export and distribution of the Auto Union brands in Austria began via the general agent Fritz Tarbuk , a former officer of the Imperial and Royal Navy , who since 1920 operated a car dealership for various manufacturers in Vienna. The Auto Union 1934 had a share of sales of about 22% of the passenger car business. Adam Opel AG with 41% in second place. The smallest sales in the entire group was made by the Audi brand. The sales shares of the individual brands in the total automobile production in 1938 in Germany were: DKW 17.9%, Wanderer 4.4%, Horch 1.0% and Audi 0.1%. Turnover developed from 65 million Reichsmark in 1933 to about 273 million Reichsmark in 1939, whereby in 1939 around 61,000 passenger cars and DKW motorcycles were produced. The Zschopauer work, at that time the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer, customized motorcycles DKW brand and two-stroke engines for the DKW car. With the inexpensive DKW "front cars" produced at the Zwickau Audi plant, people's motorization began in Germany. The larger DKW cars with rear-wheel drive came from the Berlin plant Spandau. The middle class segment of Auto Union were the Wanderer models from the Siegmar plant near Chemnitz. The Audi brand offered vehicles of the upper middle class with front wheel drive (except Audi 920 ), which were produced in the Horchwerke Zwickau. Their brand Horch united prestige and tradition and had in the German Empire of the 1930s with more than 50% the highest market share in the luxury class. The number of Auto Union employees grew from around 8,000 in 1932 to 23,000 employees in 1938.
To far-reaching changes in the company led the Second World War . The Auto Union AG was a weapons manufacturer. As of May 1940 , the Zschopau DKW plantproduced stationary and mobile power generators , two-stroke motorcycle engines and complete DKW military Krads for the Wehrmacht . The production of anti-aircraft guns ( 2-cm Vierlingsflak ) and the four-wheel truck Steyr 1500 A took place in the Audi plant in Zwickau, where the largest group plant Horch torpedoes, Kübelwagen ( Horch 830 R ), medium ( Horch 901 ) and heavy (Horch 108) Unitary cars, Chassis for light armored cars ( Sd.Kfz. 221 / 222 ), Maybach -Panzermotoren (Type HL 42 ) as well as light tractors ( Sd.Kfz. 11 produced). The plant Siegmar built next to medium unit passenger cars of the type Wanderer 901 also torpedoes, machine guns, guns and from the end of 1943 Maybach V12 tank engines of the type HL 230 . Only a small amount of "civilian" production still took place.
As part of the rearmament of the Wehrmacht founded the Auto Union in 1935, the " Central German engine works " (MiMo). The financing of the aircraft engineenwerkes at Taucha was carried out by the state Luftfahrtkontor GmbH (from 1940: Bank of German Aviation ). In 1940 Auto Union took over the factory completely. The most important engine in production was the Junkers Jumo 211 between 1938 and 1943 , followed by the Jumo 213 . In 1942, the Auto Union subsidiary built 4675 Junkers aircraft engines at around 161 million ReichsmarkSales, which accounted for approximately 36% of total Group sales. Towards the end of the war, up to 7,000 people, in particular forced laborers , were employed in the third largest group plant.On April 17, 1945 occupied the 3rd US Army Zwickau. In the local works of Auto Union production came to a standstill. When the Americans were relocated to Bavariafrom Thuringia and southwest Saxony at the end of June 1945 , these parts of the company, like the corporate headquarters in Chemnitz , were also in the Soviet occupation zone . The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) ordered the dismantling of production facilities in August, and it began as part of reparations paymentswith the removal of machinery to the Soviet Union. With the adoption of the command 124 of the SMAD of October 30, 1945, all major companies in the Soviet occupation zone were sequestered . After the referendum of June 30, 1946 , conducted by the SED-dominated state administration in Saxony , the assets of the Nazi activists and war criminals were confiscated. In the course of the organization of the national industry developed in Saxony in June 1946 to manage the associated companies industrial administrations, which were the head office of the state-owned / national enterprises of the Ministry of Economics and Economic Planning and existed until the summer of 1948. After a brief fiduciary administration by the Saxon Construction GmbH (SAW) was founded in Chemnitz in July 1946, the "Industrial Management 19 - Fahrzeugbau", which later also the industry association vehicle construction (IFA) emerged , in which all motor vehicle manufacturers in the GDR were summarized.
With the command 201 of the SMAD of 19 October 1947, commissions were formed in the circles of denazification . These party-politically very unilaterally composed chambers had to examine which party members were active Nazis (charged persons) or which were only followers or even regime critics (unloaded persons). After that only punished persons should be punished with deprivation of property. Finally, were banned by the command 64 of the SMAD from April 17, 1948 more Sequestrierungen. In July 1948, on the basis of the command 76 of the SMAD associations of state-owned enterprises (VVB) were created,because the state-owned companies should be smashed. In contrast to the usual practice in the Trizone on August 17, 1948, the corporation Auto Union AG was deleted in the commercial register Chemnitz. This gave up the rights to the Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer brands and cleared the way for the founding of a new Auto Union GmbHin West Germany.
From the works of the major brands of Auto Union emerged in 1948 so-called state- owned enterprises (VEB) :
- Audi became the VEB automobile plant Audi Zwickau and later the VEB automobile plant Zwickau (AWZ) .
- The DKW Motorcycle Plant in Zschopau, also affiliated with the Industry Association for Vehicles (IFA) , became VEB Motorradwerk Zschopau (MZ) in 1952 .
- From Horch was VEB Horch automobile and engine plants in Zwickau and from 1957 the VEB Sachsenring motor vehicle and engine plants Zwickau .
- The Wanderer works were continued after dismantling as VEB Büromaschinenwerk Chemnitz (Wanderer-Continental) and VEB Werkzeugmaschinenbau Chemnitz(Heckert) (Chemnitz from 1953-1990: Karl-Marx- Stadt).
- The Auto Union AG, Chemnitz became the VEB Barkas-Werke Karl-Marx-Stadt .
The long-term production plan of 1957 originally envisaged producing the model Sachsenring P 240 in the VEB Sachsenringand the model Trabant P50 in the EEZ . When the management of VVB-Automobilbau realized that the capacity was insufficient for the production in both plants, the two plants were merged with a decision of the SED state and party leadership in May 1958. The production of the P240 was therefore set in 1959 and complete the development theme P240.
The DKW F9 with the 3 = 6 engine was announced by the "old" Auto Union although still in 1940, but did not go until 1950 in the GDR as IFA F9 (with a new three-cylinder engine ) and - also 1950 - in the Federal Republic of Germany DKW "master class" (F89) (with modified old two-cylinder engine of the F8 ) in mass production.
Developed by DKW engineers and realized for the first time in DKW F1 arrangement of the (two-cylinder) front engine transversely to the direction of travel not only kept the Trabant, it is now widely used in front-wheel drive worldwide; the curved DKW box frame was until the end of production marks the F9 successor Wartburg 311 / 312 .
Since most DKW vehicles had not been requisitioned by the Wehrmacht because of the two-stroke engines , were in West Germany , the later Trizone , at the end of the war still more than 65,000 imperial and master class cars in circulation and also ran a considerable number of them abroad Vehicles. Through the four branches in Munich , Nuremberg , Hanover and Freiburg (Breisgau) , the supply of spare parts for Auto-Union vehicles soon no longer existed, since all but the factory in Berlin-Spandau all factories in the Soviet occupation zonelay. To ensure the supply of spare parts was therefore in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, on December 3, 1945, the "Central Depot for Auto Union spare parts GmbH" founded - a first step to a fresh start in West Germany.
At that time, the Auto Union group was still based in Chemnitz. A law of the four occupying powers intended to seize the entire German state property. This also applied to companies that were more than 50% state-owned. In the course of the deletion of the company from the Chemnitzer commercial register in August 1948, the securing of the rights to the brand "Auto Union" was missed. Since the corporation was now dissolved, beginning of September 1949 could with loans of the Bavarian state government and Marshallplan aids a new Auto Union GmbHto be founded. Shortly after the end of the war, many employees left the former plants in Zschopau, Zwickau and Chemnitz for West Germany and started a reconstruction in Ingolstadt. Above all, Richard Bruhn, former CEO of the "old" Chemnitz Auto Union AG , and his deputy Carl Hahn sen. As the largest shareholder, the Swiss contractor Ernst Göhner supported the reconstruction and the strong expansion in the early and mid-1950s. The vehicles of Auto Union were under the old brand DKW sold and the new company soon employed around 14,000 people.
In Ingolstadt, the construction of the new DKW rapid-fire truck and the DKW RT 125 W motorcycle model began in 1949 . W stood for the west, because in the former DKW plant Zschopau after prewar plans also a RT 125 was built. As a further production site in West Germany, the 60-year-old Plant II of Rheinmetall - Borsig in Dusseldorf-Derendorf was initially taken over with a lease. The operation, which was partly destroyed by bombs and planned for disassembly as an armaments factory, became fully owned by Auto Union in the 1950s . The first DKW model from Dusseldorf was the 1950 built DKW F89 . With its two-stroke models fast truck, DKW special class , "large DKW" 3 = 6 , the off-road vehicle Munga for the German Armed Forces and the DKW Junior , the company was successful in the economic miracle .
In the early 1950s, the Spanish auto Union subsidiary Industrias del Motor SA (IMOSA) built a new plant in Vitoria (Basque Country), starting in 1954 with the DKW rapid-fire truck and in the 1960s as its own DKW-IMOSA F 1000 construction L made.
In 1958, the motorcycle production was handed over to the Zweirad-Union newly founded in Nuremberg with the participation of Victoria and Express , where, however, only small quantities of the models RT 175 VS and RT 200 VS emerged. Mainly were mopeds as the DKW Hummel and mopeds built.
At the insistence of the Daimler-Benz shareholder Friedrich Flick , Daimler-Benz AG took over 88% of the share capital in April 1958 . The two large Auto-Union owners Friedrich Flick and Ernst Göhner each sold 41 percent of their GmbH shares in Daimler-Benz. At that time, the company was the fifth largest German car manufacturer after VW, Opel, Daimler-Benz and Ford. From December 1959 Daimler-Benz was the sole owner.
In 1959, the DKW Junior appeared with a 34-horsepower three-cylinder two-stroke engine and a mounted on a box profile frame body, which was decorated after American model with small tail fins. He was followed in 1961 by the Junior de Luxe with almost the same body and engine, but this with "fresh oil automatic" . He no longer needed to be refueled with gasoline-oil mixture, but mixed the oil depending on the speed and load from a separate tank to the fuel. The successor DKW F12 1963 was the first car in its class with disc brakes . The engine power rose to 40 hp. In the summer of 1964 came the DKW F11/ 64 with the larger body of the F12, but the mechanics and features of the Junior de Luxe . The Auto Union 1965 brought the F12 / 65 on the market, this had the 45-horsepower engine of the F12 Roadster and was the last car in the series. The last newly developed two-stroke DKW was the DKW F 102 built from 1964 to 1966 .
VW boss Heinrich Nordhoff expressed 1962 for the first time the interest of the Volkswagen factory to take over the Auto Union . At the urging of Daimler-Benz should be developed in Ingolstadt at the time a new car with four-stroke engine, but Daimler-Benz sold in 1964, the Auto Union to the Volkswagen factory AG on. The Dusseldorf plant of Auto Union retained Daimler-Benz and began there in 1961 with the Mercedes-Benz L 319 the production of light Mercedes-Benz van . In 2011 the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the VW Crafter were built in the Mercedes-Benz Düsseldorf plantproduced. Daimler-Benz also retained the Spanish IMOSA factory in Vitoria, where u. a. from 1988 to 1995 the MB 100 and from 1996 to 2003 the series W 638 (Vito and V-class) was produced. From 2003, the models of the 639 series(Vito and Viano) were manufactured there and since 2014 the current V-Class ( 447 series ).
Takeover by Volkswagen
At the turn of the year 1964/65, Volkswagenwerk AG acquired 50.3% of the shares - from the end of 1966 Auto Union GmbH was wholly owned by the Volkswagen factory.
The 1.7-liter "medium-pressure engine" originally developed at Daimler-Benz and completed in Ingolstadt (because the very high compression of 11.2: 1 moved between the usual values of a petrol and diesel engine) became 1965 brought in a revised version of the DKW F 102 on the market. From the DKW F 102, the last car from West German production with two-stroke engine and at the same time last DKW car, then the new "Audi" with four-stroke medium-pressure engine. Since the name DKW always with two-stroke engines was associated, it was decided not to use it and instead the old markAudi to use again. The four rings were retained as logos. This first car after 1945 called Audi was called internally F103 and later when the model was offered with different engines, this was named as the engine performance in PS the name Audi 72 . Thus, the era of the car two-stroke engine ended in mass production in West Germany - only the SUV DKW Munga with two-stroke engine was still produced until the end of 1968. In the same year came the first Audi 100 , the last redesign of the Auto Union on the market.
The merger of Auto Union GmbH with Neckarsulm Motorenwerke AG in 1969 produced the Audi NSU Auto Union AG . 1985 took place with the relocation of the company headquarters from Neckarsulm to Ingolstadt at the same time the renaming in Audi AG . Audi translates from Latin into German translated "Listen!" Or "Horch!" And goes back to the family name of August Horch , the founder of the original audio works and previously the Horchwerke, two of the four companies founded in 1932 Auto Union.
Auto Union racing
The development of the Auto Union racing department at Horch in Zwickau led from 1934 to 1937 Ferdinand Porsche . From 1938 Robert Eberan von Eberhorst was head of the racing department. The mid-engine cars of the Silver Arrow era (1934-1939) were the only competitors, the Mercedes-Benz racing cars were able to defeat. Bernd Rosemeyer , Hans Stuck , Ernst von Delius , Rudolf Hasse , Hermann Paul Müller and Tazio Nuvolari were the drivers. In 1936, Rosemeyer won the Auto UnionGrand Prix European Championship .
The Auto Union racing car type A sixteen-cylinder - V engine was the first mid-engine race car. Here, the drive unit was arranged behind the driver, a technical concept that has kept to this day in high-performance racing. The Grand Prix racing car types A to D (1934-1939) were technically ahead of their time, but difficult to master and required the highest level of driving skills. The cost of the Auto Union for participation in racing was 1933-1942, when all the development work was stopped, more than 14 million Reichsmark . State aid covered about 20 percent of the costs. Relatively speaking, that was not even one percent of Auto Union's total revenue . The Grand Prix racing cars are still for quality work and innovation of the Group.
Automotive manufacturers Chemnitz, Germany; from 1932 until 1968