Audi – Timeline 1900s,10s
1899 Company Start
On 14 November 1899, August Horch (1868 – 1951) established the company A. Horch & Cie. in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne. Here he developed his first car, which was completed at the beginning of 1901. The company moved to Reichenbach in Saxony in March 1902 and converted to a share-issuing company two years later, which involved a further change in location. On 10 May 1904, A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen-Werke AG was established in Zwickau
1901 The first Horch
The first Horch car took to the road in 1901: it had a horizontal engine which developed about 4-5 hp. An additional small piston in the engine was designed to absorb the vibrations of the crankshaft. August Horch referred to this as his “impact-free” engine. Another new feature was the alloy crankcase, a pioneering achievement in car manufacturing.
Following the establishment of the company in Cologne in 1899 and its relocation to Reichenbach in Saxony in 1902, the success of Horch cars made it clear that the factory had to be expanded. On the advice of his business associates, August Horch decided to establish a share-issuing company. New premises were found in Zwickau. Production started in 1904, the beginning of a long tradition of car manufacture in Zwickau.
1906 The 1st NSU car
1906 saw the launch of the ‘Sulmobil‘, a three-wheeled vehicle with a 3.5 hp motorcycle engine. However, the ‘Sulmobil‘ was not a success. As a result, the first ‘Original Neckarsulm Motor Car‘, with a 1308 cc four-cylinder engine and 10 hp, went into production the same year.
In 1904 Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen set up on his own as a manufacturer of boiler fittings. In 1906 he purchased a textile mill in Zschopau, Saxony. Production started there in 1907. During the First World War Rasmussen worked on a steam-driven vehicle (“Dampfkraftwagen”), from which the three letters DKW were derived.