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Audi


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(established 1909)

This car manufacturer's early years had a chequered history with a series of takeovers and reorganizations. One of the most significant was the formation of the Auto Union from Audi, DKW, Horsch, and Wanderer in 1932, the still distinctive Audi logo of four interconnecting rings being marked by this coming together of the four companies. However, the Auto Union was later taken over by Mercedes in 1958 and again in the mid‐1960s by Volkswagen. The highly successful Audi 100 (1965) proved to be the saviour of a financially troubled company and commenced a process of placing an increasing premium on design, exemplified by collaboration with the Italian car body styling firm Bertone on the Audi 80 (1972). In 1982 the company launched its lively four‐wheel drive Quattro sports saloon and, in 1984, the new model Audi 80. The 1990s saw further initiatives with the launch of the A4 and A6 saloons overseen by Peter Schreyer, who had become chief designer in 1994. Schreyer also designed the A3 hatchback (1996) and the striking and distinctive TT Coupé (1997).

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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