"Vorsprung durch Technik" or, "Progress through Technology" is our company ethos and is the core belief that drives the development of every Audi vehicle.
The first seeds of Audi began in 1899 when August Horch created the Horch and Co company. He left in 1909 to create a new business called Audi (the latin translation of his name). Post war depression in Germany forced the formation of the 'Auto Union' in 1932, a merger of Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, each represented by one of the four conjoined rings in the famous Audi logo.
Audi's sales grew strongly in the 2000s, with deliveries to customers increasing from 653,000 in 2000 to 1,003,000 in 2008. The largest sales increases came from Eastern Europe (+19.3%), Africa (+17.2%) and the Middle East (+58.5%). China in particular has become a key market, representing 108,000 out of 705,000 cars delivered in the first three quarters of 2009. One factor for its popularity in China is that Audis have become the car of choice for purchase by the Chinese government for officials, and purchases by the government are responsible for 20% of its sales in China.