AUDI Aktiengesellschaft (help·info) (pronounced [ˈaʊdi]) designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes automobiles and motorcycles. Audi oversees worldwide operations from its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Audi-branded vehicles are produced in seven production facilities worldwide.
Audi has been a majority owned (99.55%) subsidiary of Volkswagen Group since 1966, following a phased purchase of AUDI AG's predecessor, Auto Union, from Daimler-Benz. Volkswagen relaunched the Audi brand with the 1965 introduction of the Audi F103 series.
The company name is based on the surname of the founder, August Horch. "Horch", meaning "listen", becomes "Audi" when translated into Latin. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that banded together to create the company. Audi's slogan is Vorsprung durch Technik, meaning "Advancement through Technology". Recently in the United States, Audi has updated the slogan to "Truth in Engineering". Audi is part of the "German Big 3" luxury automakers, along with BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which are the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world.
Originally, in 1885, automobile company Wanderer was established, later becoming a branch of Audi AG. Another company, NSU, which also later merged into Audi, was founded during this time, and later supplied the chassis for Gottlieb Daimler's four-wheeler.
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor. Most definitions of the term specify that automobiles are designed to run primarily on roads, to have seating for one to eight people, to typically have four wheels, and to be constructed principally for the transport of people rather than goods.
The term motorcar has also been used in the context of electrified rail systems to denote a car which functions as a small locomotive but also provides space for passengers and baggage. These locomotive cars were often used on suburban routes by both interurban and intercity railroad systems.
It was estimated in 2010 that the number of automobiles had risen to over 1 billion vehicles, up from the 500 million of 1986. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China and India.