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What does Audi stand for?

Audi is a well-known German automotive brand that produces luxury vehicles. But what does the name “Audi” actually stand for and where does it come from? Keep reading to learn about the origins and meaning behind the Audi name.

The History of Audi

Audi has its roots in the early 20th century German automobile company Auto Union. Auto Union was formed in 1932 from the merger of four separate German carmakers: Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer.

Of these four founding companies of Auto Union, Audi history stretches back the furthest. It began with August Horch, an automobile pioneer who established A. Horch & Cie in 1899. “Horch” means “listen” in German. After leaving his original company, August Horch founded a new automaker named Audi in 1910. “Audi” is Latin for “listen,” so the Audi name was a clever twist on Horch.

So in essence, the history of the modern Audi company goes back to August Horch’s automobile manufacturing ventures in the early 1900s. The four rings in the Audi logo represent the four founding companies of Auto Union (Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer), which merged together in 1932.

The Meaning Behind the Audi Name

So where does the actual name “Audi” come from and what does it mean? As mentioned, Audi is Latin for “listen,” which provides the root meaning behind the name.

According to Audi, the name represents the company’s founder August Horch’s motto: “Accept nothing nearly right, only the best.” The name Audi calls on listeners to embrace progress, innovation and perfection.

The meaning behind Audi is also captured in the company’s tagline “Vorsprung durch Technik,” which translates from German as “progress through technology.” This further emphasizes Audi’s commitment to automotive innovation and engineering advancement.

Additional Meanings of “Audi”

Beyond its Latin origins, the Audi name carries some additional meanings:

  • It’s an invitation to listen to the needs of drivers and apply technological solutions.
  • It represents the pioneering spirit of August Horch and drive for excellence.
  • It reflects Audi’s German engineering heritage.
  • It’s a call to luxury vehicle buyers to discover and experience the Audi difference.

Audi’s Brand Evolution

While the core Audi name has remained, the styling and presentation has evolved over the decades:

  • Early Years: The original Audi company used the four interlinked rings as its logo beginning in 1915. This iconic emblem represented the merger of Audi with Horch, DKW and Wanderer car companies.
  • Auto Union Era: After Auto Union was formed in 1932, the company initially used just the four rings as its badge on vehicles. Eventually the Auto Union name also began appearing on car grilles and emblems.
  • Relaunch in 1965: Following World War II, Auto Union was discontinued and car production was resumed under a new company, which revived the Audi name. The modern Audi logo returned to the four rings but now included the name.
  • Recent Years: Audi has continued to refine its logo, streamlining the font and appearance. But the name and four ring emblem remain an integral part of the Audi brand.

Audi’s Vision for the Future

So Audi’s origins are firmly rooted in its Latin name meaning and German engineering heritage. But where is the brand heading in the future?

Audi aims to continue pushing boundaries in automotive luxury, performance and sustainability. Some goals and initiatives include:

  • Expanding electric vehicle options across all vehicle types.
  • Leading in autonomous driving technology.
  • Applying digital intelligence and connectivity to all vehicles.
  • Developing sustainable materials and ultra-efficient manufacturing processes.
  • Enhancing the driving experience through innovation.

The deeper meaning behind the Audi name will provide inspiration as the brand evolves to offer smart luxury vehicles for the digital age.

The Name’s Significance Within Audi

The Audi name and what it represents hold a deep significance within the company’s culture and operations:

  • It appears prominently on all vehicles, dealerships and corporate facilities as a symbol of pride and identity.
  • The meaning behind the name inspires Audi’s workforce to uphold standards of excellence.
  • It represents a legacy of innovation in technology and design passed down for over a century.
  • The Audi name and logo transcend any single model or marketing campaign as the central representation of the brand’s essence.
  • Management continues to cite Audi history and origins when highlighting the company’s vision and progress.

For Audi employees worldwide, the name acts as a reminder of the company’s heritage and future direction in shaping the driving experience.

Fun Historical Facts About the Audi Name

Over Audi’s long history from its Latin origins to today, there are some interesting fun facts surrounding the brand name:

  • The name was selected in 1910 after founder August Horch left his previous company.
  • “Horch” meaning “listen” in German inspired the new “Audi” name, also meaning “listen.”
  • The son of company founder August Horch recommended the name Audi.
  • Four companies merged to form Auto Union in 1932, represented by the four-ring Audi logo.
  • Models built by Auto Union’s Audi division featured the word Audi on their trunk lids.
  • The modern Audi company revived the name after World War II in 1965.
  • Audi has used the “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan meaning “progress through technology” since 1971.

These historical notes add color to the legacy behind the Audi name, which lives on today in the brand’s continued success and innovation.


The name Audi derives from Latin meaning “listen,” representing founder August Horch’s pursuit of automotive excellence. It also encapsulates Audi’s drive for innovation, engineering achievement and luxury vehicles that listen to drivers’ needs. Since its origins in the early 1900s, Audi has become a globally revered brand producing cutting-edge cars that exemplify German meticulousness and quality. The proud heritage behind the Audi name will continue inspiring the company’s vision into the future.