The founders then moved to Ingolstadt in Bavaria and formed the Auto Union in 1949, with loans from the Bavarian state government and Marshall Plan aid.
In 1969 Audi Union merged with the world's largest motorcycle producer, NSU - the company was now known as Audi NSU Auto Union AG. Audi emerged as a separate brand. Then Volkswagen introduced Audi 1970 models to the United States.
Nowadays Audi is a global developer and producer of high quality cars with production sites in Germany, Hungary, China, Belgium and India. In 2008, Audi sold a total of 1,003,000 cars, setting up a record for the thirteenth consecutive year.
Audi is a premium member of the Volkswagen Group and it is interesting to note that technologies are first introduced into the mass market in Audi vehicles. Thereafter they conveyed to the more value oriented brands such as Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda.
Audi is aware of the fact that consumers do not buy cars for rational reasons. Therefore, Audi moved ahead as a serious competitor in the global luxury segment in the early 1990s and now offers a wide variety of premium vehicles, the most famous of which is the Audi TT, launched in 1999. This car was designed for people with passion.
There were other Audi models that appealed to the emotions, like the Audi A8, which was launched in 2003.
In 2004 Audi launched the S4 convertible with a soft top and a 4.2 litre V8 engine for outstanding performance.
The Audi A6 was also launched in 2004 and was extremely competitive in the executive segment.
A more recent technology introduced by Audi is that of the Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engines and the quick shifting dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).
Currently, Audi is launching the most efficient standard sized sedan, the A4 2.0 TDT e with fuel consumption of 4.6 litres per 100 km and a carbon dioxide exhaust emission of 119 grams per hundred kilometers. This sedan features stop/start technology and a brake recovery energy system and comes with low resistance tires.
In 2003 and 2004 the Volkswagen group ordered massive recalls involving various brands. One of these cases was a recall of 850,000 vehicles of VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat with 1.8 litre turbo engines, V5, V6 and V8