Audi Q5 40TDI grey

Who Makes Audi? (The History and Company Behind the Badge)

Do you ever find yourself staring at an Audi parked on the street and wondering, ‘Who made this car?’

Well, wonder no more!

It’s time to peel back the curtain and get a peek into who makes Audi cars.

Read on to learn more about one of the world’s most iconic brands, from the people who design Audis to the plants where they’re manufactured!

A brief story about Audi’s history

Ah, the history of Audi – it’s like a trip back in time to the days of horse-drawn carriages and pocket watches.

Okay, maybe not that far back, but you get the point.

It all started in 1899 when August Horch founded his first car company, ‘August Horch & Cie,’ in Cologne, Germany.

August Horch, the founder of Audi
August Horch, the founder of Audi (source)

But here’s the kicker – he had to leave that company due to a disagreement with the board of directors.

So what does any self-respecting car enthusiast do in that situation?

Start another car company, of course!

Here’s where things get interesting.

Horch’s former company sued him for using his own name as the name of his new company. Talk about petty, right?

But Horch wasn’t about to let a little legal drama stop him from pursuing his passion for cars.

So he did what any resourceful person would – he translated his last name, Horch, into Latin. And thus, ‘Audi’ was born!

In 1932, Horch’s company was merged with three other automobile manufacturers. The merge of four automotive companies was symbolized by four interlocking rings, which created the Audi logo we know today!

Why the Audi logo has four rings
Source

Fast forward a few years, and Audi had become a force to be reckoned with in the automotive industry.

But like any good story, there were some bumps in the road – Audi experienced financial troubles in the 1960s and 1970s and was eventually acquired by Volkswagen.

But even under new ownership, Audi continued to innovate.

For instance, they introduced the world to the quattro all-wheel drive system, revolutionizing how cars handle challenging roads.

Audi quattro badge

This innovation is rooted in Audi’s advertising slogan, which the company started to use in 1971. It states ‘Vorsprung durch Technik,’ which translates to ‘Advancement through Technology.’

So there you have it – a brief (and hopefully entertaining) story of how Audi became the Audi we know today.

But before we wind off too far, let’s dive into the main topic – who makes Audi cars today?

Who makes Audi cars today?

Do you ever wonder who is behind the craftsmanship of Audis?

Well, the answer isn’t just one person – it’s a team of talented people working together.

Let’s discuss some exciting facts from behind the scenes at Audi!

Who owns Audi?

As mentioned, the Volkswagen Group first acquired a stake in Audi in the 1960s. More specifically, they purchased a 50% stake in Audi in 1964.

The Volkswagen Group is a company that owns several car brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and more.

And since 2020, the Volkswagen Group has had 100% ownership over the Audi brand.

As the Volkswagen Group is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, Audis are German cars. (Audi is not an American company, which some people might believe.)

However, this does not mean that Audi is made by Volkswagen.

Instead, Audi is made by the Volkswagen Group, which is a multinational automotive manufacturer that owns several car brands.

Audi can be seen as a luxury brand of the Volkswagen group; it’s a luxurious alternative to a Volkswagen!

For example, when you compare the latest Audi A3 to one of its competitors, the Volkswagen Golf, the Audi may look more luxurious.

Still, both cars are built on the same MQB platform developed by the Volkswagen Group:

Audi A3 Limousine grey S Line

The people behind Audi

You know what they say – behind every great company is a great team of people. And when it comes to Audi, that couldn’t be more true.

From engineers to designers to assembly line workers, countless people made Audi what it is today.

And even though Audi is German, it has a solid international presence. So, let’s take a look at the people behind Audi!

Let’s start with the engineers. These are the geniuses behind the groundbreaking technology that makes Audis have a ‘Vorsprung durch Technik.’ They’re the ones who ensure Audis handle like a dream, and their engines purr like a kitten.

Many of Audi’s engineers work at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. As of December 31, 2021, the Ingolstadt site has a staggering 42,436 employees!

Audi’s current chief engineer is Oliver Hoffmann, and his main focus is speeding up Audi’s push into electrification:

Audi's chief engineer - Oliver Hoffmann
Source

And let’s not forget about the designers – they’re the ones who make sure that Audis look as good as they perform.

Audi has three leading design studios located in the following regions:

  • Ingolstadt, Germany
  • Beijing, China
  • Malibu, United States

That means that besides Germany, Audis are designed in design centers in China and the United States!

Marc Lichte has been Audi’s head of design since 2014:

But it’s not just the people at the top who make Audi great – the assembly line workers put in countless hours to bring each car to life.

If you want to learn more about Audi’s production process, we recommend checking out this video about Audi’s new factory car plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, and Brussels, Belgium:

Where are Audi cars manufactured?

Now that we’ve landed at Audi’s production process, have you ever wondered where Audis are manufactured?

Well, we’re about to tell you some interesting things about where Audis are made.

Audi’s largest production site is in Ingolstadt, Germany. This is the plant where most Audi cars are manufactured.

Audi has been building cars in Ingolstadt for over 70 years now, and as mentioned earlier, over 42,000 employees work for Audi in Ingolstadt.

At the moment, Audi produces the Audi Q2, Audi A3, Audi A4, and Audi A5 at the Ingolstadt production plant:

Audi Ingolstadt production plant - where Audi cars are made
Source

Audi also has one other large production plant in Germany, namely in the city of Neckarsulm.

The Neckarsulm factory has been in use even longer than the one in Ingolstadt; Audi has been producing cars for over 100 years here!

Over 15,000 employees produce Audis at the Neckarsulm site. They produced 145,092 Audis in 2021, and it’s the first site in Germany to produce a fully electric Audi!

Currently, the following Audi models are manufactured at the Neckarsulm site in Germany:

  • Audi A4
  • Audi A5 Cabriolet
  • Audi A6
  • Audi A7
  • Audi A8
  • Audi R8
  • Audi e-tron GT

Related article: If you’re interested in the most reliable Audi models, check out this article!

Audi Neckarsulm production plant - where Audi cars are made
Source

Consequently, here is a list of all Audi models that are still made in Germany:

  • Audi Q2
  • Audi A3
  • Audi A4
  • Audi A5 (Cabriolet)
  • Audi A6
  • Audi A7
  • Audi A8
  • Audi R8
  • Audi e-tron GT

But Germany isn’t the only country where Audis are made.

Audi also has production plans in other locations, including:

  • Aurangabad, India
  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Changchun, China
  • Győr, Hungary
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Martorell, Spain
  • San José Chiapa, Mexico

And for those wondering, no Audi models are made in the United States!

The closest place to the US where Audis are made is the San José Chiapa production plant in Mexico, where the Audi Q5 is produced.

Who makes Audi Engines?

We’ve talked about the people behind Audi and where Audis are manufactured, but who makes Audi’s engines?

To find the answer to this question, we must return to who owns Audi.

If you’ve read the rest of this article, you will know that Audi is a brand of a company called the Volkswagen Group, also known as the Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG).

As a result, some Audi cars are powered by the same engines mounted in Volkswagen, Seat, or even Skoda models.

For example, a popular engine of the Volkswagen Audi Group is the EA888, a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TSI petrol engine.

And even though its software tuning might differ slightly from model to model, you can find it in the following cars:

  • Audi A3
  • Audi A4
  • Audi Q3
  • Audi Q5
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Seat Leon
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Skoda Superb
  • And more!

You can see the EA888 engine with a Volkswagen badge in the image below:

So, yes, some Audis do use Volkswagen engines!

Interesting, right?

But who makes all these engines for the Volkswagen Group?

Engines for Audi models come from Hungary and are produced by Audi Hungaria at the engine factory in Győr.

In fact, Audi Hungaria has been producing engines for the Volkswagen Audi Group since 1994. And as a result, it has grown into the largest engine factory in the world!

Who makes Audi engines - Audi Hungaria engine factory
Source

And when you start looking at the numbers, things really start to get crazy.

Audi Hungaria has nearly 6,000 employees who build over 8,800 engines every day! To date, the engine factory in Győr has produced over 35 million engines (source).

Is Audi a good car make?

You’ve read all about the history of Audi, the people behind the brand, and even the engine suppliers.

But let’s cut to the chase – is Audi actually a good car make?

Well, the short answer is yes. But let’s dive a little deeper.

Earlier, we wrote an article about the reliability of Audi, where we studied industry reliability rankings, consumer reports, and complaints from Audi owners.

When looking at Audi’s reliability, we could conclude that industry rankings give Audi a below-average reliability rating. While consumer reports are more positive about Audi’s reliability, it can still be called moderate at best.

However, it’s worth noting that not all Audis have questionable reliability.

Here is a list of the most reliable Audi models:

  • Audi A5
  • Audi TT
  • Audi A3
  • Audi A4
  • Audi A7
  • Audi A6
Audi A5 coupe grey

We also looked at the Audi models you should avoid if you’re concerned about reliability:

  • Audi Q3
  • Audi e-tron
  • Audi Q5
  • Audi A8
  • Audi Q7

All in all, Audi’s reliability is below average, but Audi’s luxury, performance, and features compensate for this, so it’s still a good car make.

If you want to learn more about Audi’s reliability and see all the rankings, you can find our entire research article here!

Conclusion

Well, we’ve come to the end of our journey.

We have explored the history of Audi, the people behind it, where Audis are made, and who manufactures their engines.

Thanks for joining us on this journey through the world of Audi. Until next time, happy driving!

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