Goodwood: Audi readies for centenary celebration

CENTENARY CELEBRATION OF AUDI'S ORIGINS AT GOODWOOD Milton Keynes -- Audi is the "featured marque" at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July -- the spectacular annual event that is to be staged just days before the German manufacturer ...

CENTENARY CELEBRATION OF AUDI'S ORIGINS AT GOODWOOD

Milton Keynes -- Audi is the "featured marque" at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July -- the spectacular annual event that is to be staged just days before the German manufacturer celebrates its Centenary.

Taking "centre stage" with the main display in front of Goodwood House, Audi will use Lord March's World class motorsport extravaganza to commemorate that its origins were laid 100 years ago on 16 July 1909.

The Festival is far more than just a hillclimb and can justifiably claim to be the world's biggest and most diverse celebration of the history of motor sport and car culture. "True Grit - Epic Feats of Endurance" is the theme for this year's event staged over 3-5 July. Audi has supported the event since 1998 -- five years after the first Festival -- and staged its own central display the following year. The exhibit depicted an Audi Avus quattro and a 1937 Auto Union Streamliner "racing on the banking of Avus".

Hans Joachim Stuck Jnr, son of the Auto Union grand prix racing legend with the same name, drove a 1938/9 Type C/D Auto Union Hillclimb car on the first Festival of Speed appearance for Audi 11 years ago and, as has been the case most years since, Audi Tradition is intending to support the British event with a mouth-watering line-up of machinery, spanning the years and underlining the extensive motorsport history-making success the brand has enjoyed.

Auto Union's pioneering C & D-Type single-seater racing cars from the 1930s, rally and race quattro all-wheel-drive machines and the company's most recent record breaking Le Mans sportscars are the intended exhibits. Belgium's sportscar legend Jacky Ickx, who achieved 25 podium finishes in Formula One and six wins in the 24 hours of Le Mans, plus Allan McNish -- the only British driver to win the legendary French 24 Hour race in a diesel-engined car -- will be amongst those on driving duty for Audi at Goodwood in July.

This year's Festival will be a fitting backdrop for Audi's Vorsprung durch Technik (Advancement through Technology) in celebrating the 100th anniversary of its origins. August Horch left the automobile department of the company owned by Karl Benz, the inventor of the automobile, in 1899 to open a small company of his own, initially in Cologne.

In 1904 he re-located the company to Zwickau and transformed it into a shareissuing company. Five years later Horch left Horchwerke AG, and within only a few weeks, on July 16, 1909, had established a new car company, also in Zwickau.

The firm was initially called August Horch Automobil Werke but this led to a legal dispute which Horch lost and was therefore unable to continue using his own name in parallel with his former company. The problem was solved by translating his name into Latin: "Horch" became "Audi" and the Audi Automobil-Werke GmbH obtained a trade register entry in Zwickau.

In August 1928 the DKW Group took over the Audi factory and continued to sell its cars in the upper price group. Four years later the Audi brand merged with 3 others; Horch, DKW and Wanderer to form the four rings of Auto Union AG, which was established on June 29, 1932. Hence the legendary and globally recognised Four Ring emblem created to symbolise this merger is still in use as the Audi brand emblem today.

Audi plans to have a facility at Goodwood displaying its latest models -- some on show in Britain for the very first time -- with merchandise also available at its Pavilion located in the central area.

* The name Audi is based on a Latin translation of the word "Horch", itself the German word for "hark."

* The Audi emblem is four overlapping rings that represent the four marques of Auto Union. The Audi emblem symbolizes the amalgamation of Audi with DKW, Horch and Wanderer: the first ring represents Audi, the second represents DKW, third is Horch and the fourth and last ring Wanderer.

* Audi UK has enjoyed an exceptionally rapid rise to prominence in the premium sector. In 2000 just over 43,000 Audi models found homes in the UK, and from that point until 2008 the brand has broken annual sales records year-on-year, successfully passing the milestone 100,000 sales mark in 2007. Despite the market turmoil of 2008, Audi ended the year with a record 4.7% market share from 100,845 sales. The brand continues to maintain a steady trajectory by extending its reach into important new segments with strong offerings such as the A3 Cabriolet, A5 Cabriolet, Q5, RS 6 and R8, and by bolstering its appeal to its existing customer base with core models like the all-new A4 and A4 Avant.

-credit: audi

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