Image change: 100 years of Audi – from grandpa car to BMW rival

Menus

100 years of Audi – from grandpa car to BMW rival

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-image

1 of 20

Source: Audi

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-change

2 of 20

Source: Audi

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-rival

3 of 20

The brand’s 100th birthday is being celebrated in the Audi Museum in Ingolstadt. An Audi Type A from 1911 will be the oldest car in the exhibition "Listen to an Audi!" being.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-change

4 of 20

An Audi Type M (18/70 hp) from 1925 is also on display in Ingolstadt as a cutaway model.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-years

5 of 20

The star of the exhibition "Listen to an Audi!" is the recently rebuilt Audi 225 Front Roadster from 1935.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-rival

6 of 20

Nowadays, Audi is immediately equated with the four rings. But that was not always so. The rings didn’t come out until 1932, when the brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wandere joined forcesr for financial reasons together under the sign of the four rings.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-rival

7 of 20

A dream of design: the Auto Union Type C streamlined world record car from 1937 leaves the Audi Museum for the first time on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the Audi brand and is presented at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-rival

8 of 20

Since the Horch brand is closely linked to Audi, Horch models such as the Horch 400 are also shown in the Audi Museum.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-audi

9 of 20

Still on the move today: At the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, the Auto Union Type C can show what it’s made of.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-years

10 of 20

Dr. Wolfgang R. Habbel, former Audi CEO, poses with the Audi 200 and the golden steering wheel.

Source: Audi

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-image

11 of 20

When "Narrow gauge Thunderbird" In the 1960s, the trade press occasionally referred to the Auto Union 1000 Sp with disdain. In classic car rallies, however, the roadster is now usedn welcome participant.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-grandpa

12 of 20

With the Audi 50, the manufacturer tried to make smaller cars. The marketing strategists called the Audi 50 "Luxury cars in the compact class".

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-rival

13 of 20

The Audi 100 Coupe S is a popular collector’s item today.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-years

14 of 20

The Audi Sport quattro from 1984 also set standards. With him, Audi whirled up the rally scene.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-image

15 of 20

The Audi 100 5D was the brand’s first series-production diesel car in 1978.

Source: AUDI AG

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-grandpa

16 of 20

In the footsteps of her famous grandfather: Heike Muller, granddaughter of the automotive pioneer and founder of the Horch and Audi companies, August Horch, drives out of the building in a Horch 930 V.uyear 1938 through the vineyards of Winningen on the Moselle.

Source: DDP

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-change

17 of 20

100 years after the brand was founded, Audi is with works teams in both the German Touring Car Championship …

Source: Audi

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-years

18 of 20

… as well as represented at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Source: Audi

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-years

19 of 20

The current Audi models are all characterized by the eye-catching single-frame grille. With this look, the bumper no longer divides the radiator grille into two parts, wie in earlier models, but consists of a larger part with the manufacturer’s logo above and a smaller part below without functionality, which rounds off the design.

Source: A6

Image change: 100 years of Audi - from grandpa car to BMW rival-change

20 of 20

In October, Audi will become even more competitive with its luxury A8 model. Then the new model with eight-speed automatic will be introduced.

Source: ws

Today Audi is holding a big gala in Ingolstadt. The automaker is turning 100 years old and has some reason to celebrate: After an unprecedented image change, the brand is on par with Mercedes and BMW. There is only one point where managers still have to do their homework.

GThe sports car drives slowly through the city and something about it seems to provoke the residents of the village: Parents cover their children’s eyes, women look embarrassed, as if they already suspected what the conversations with their husbands would be about in the evening. In the meantime, these same men scold, spit and threaten with their fists. Then the car accelerates, it’s an Audi R8, and leaves the city behind, a special city, because the exit sign reads: Maranello, City of Ferrari.

This commercial only lasts 40 seconds, but there is enough time to clearly define the current image of the Audi brand. The car manufacturer based in Ingolstadt, which is celebrating its 100th birthday today, has the confidence to do everything – even to compare it with the world-famous sports car manufacturer Ferrari. Germany’s best-known car expert Ferdinand Dudenhoffer considers this parallel, with all due respect for the brand’s upswing, to be exaggerated. At Audi, however, they do not allow themselves to be put off by such objections. “The quality of the R8 is in the very top league. He wins tests and reader polls, and in some cases by a large margin, ”says Michael Trautmann, head of the advertising agency that developed the spot.

However, the Audi management was well aware that this advertising idea would provoke car fans around the world: It is not for nothing that the controversial TV spot has hardly been shown on television and can only be seen occasionally on sports channels, if at all of car racing. The Ingolstadt-based people were no less excited to see how the little film spread quickly on the Internet and sparked major discussions, sometimes causing anger (among Italians), but more often applause.

Because it is precisely this new self-image that is at stake when Audi celebrates a gala with 2500 guests tonight in Ingolstadt, moderated by Thomas Gottschalk, ennobled by the presence of the Chancellor. The distant past in which the company stood for brands such as Horch, NSU, DKW and Wanderer will be dutifully remembered. But those times are over. Today Audi sees itself as a modern brand that has established itself in the premium class.

Audi boss Rupert Stadler, who is not an engineer but a businessman like his predecessor, is only too happy to prove this glorious development with figures and refers to 17 production start-ups within twelve months. Tonight he will be presenting the sixth new model this year to the public with the Audi A5 Sportback. Despite the crisis, he is sticking to his promise to expand the range to 42 different cars by 2015.

Stadler’s ambitious growth plans have recently suffered a setback: Audi expects ten percent fewer cars to be built in 2009, which could bring the total back below the million mark. But that’s not enough, according to Dudenhoffer, for the competition, BMW and especially Mercedes, to sit back and relax.

“Audi is now at eye level, sometimes even better.” In contrast to Mercedes, Audi has a clear strategy and is also doing very well in terms of image, says Dudenhoffer, and the professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen refers to an Internet as proof of this -Study by one of his students: In a survey of 285 participants between 18 and 32 years of age, Mercedes did better than the competitor from Ingolstadt in terms of comfort, safety and prestige, but when it came to youthfulness and modernity, Audi had the competitor from Stuttgart relegated to the back seats. When asked “Do you associate the brand with seniors?” Mercedes received more than 60 percent approval, while at Audi it was only three to four percent.

Even if the study is nothing more than a snapshot, it highlights the considerable change in image that Audi has undergone over the years. Applied to the Audi models Just two decades ago as hat-racking cars, the VW subsidiary’s design and technical standards are undisputed today. The brand is even noticed in the promotion of sport and culture as well as in motorsport – and that without the management having to sink hundreds of millions of euros per year into Formula 1.

Ferdinand Piëch is usually seen as the originator of the positive development – today’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group, who at the beginning of his career was Chief Technology Officer and later Chief Executive Officer at Audi and set the course for today’s demands with an iron hand and important technological innovations: the all-wheel drive with The brand name “quattro” is one of them, as is the fully galvanized sheet metal that no longer rusts – building blocks without which the best PR strategists would not have been able to develop a new, more modern image.

In addition to the measurable qualities of a car and the more incalculable image values ​​of a brand, design plays an increasingly important role today. In saturated markets such as Western Europe, Japan or North America, what a car looks like and what it says is crucial for buyers today – product quality is taken for granted, especially with so-called premium brands.

The Audi philosophy is rather simple in this regard, because the design of all models follows the simple principle: An Audi must be recognizable as an Audi, from a distance and immediately and without discussion. The BMW brand with its double kidney grille, which has adorned every single car since 1933, as well as Mercedes with its star (since 1910) have a historic lead that needs to be caught up. Audi has only been countering this with the single-frame grill since 2004, which levels out the differences between individual models.

"It is right to present yourself as a brand and not through the models," says Hartmut Warkub. The former head of design at Audi and VW, who is still close to Ferdinand Piëch today, refers to another man who made Audi’s transformation into a modern brand possible in the first place: “Without Ludwig Kraus, Audi would not be where it is today . "

Indeed, Ludwig Kraus was an important man because he resisted the dictates from Wolfsburg shortly after VW took over the company, which was then still under the name Auto Union GmbH. The then VW boss Heinrich Nordhoff only had the Audi factory in Ingolstadt as a further production facility for the VW Beetle seen. But Kraus wanted more and had the Audi 100 developed secretly behind the scenes.

It would be some time before Nordhoff got wind of it and announced his visit to Ingolstadt. He had the car shown to him, an upper middle-class limousine, and – so it is said – was silent for a long time. Then he said: “Build.” A year later, in 1969, the movement began, which seems to have reached its logical climax in the Maranello commercial: Warkub made the Audi 100 Coupe on behalf of Kraus, which many fans still consider to be the most beautiful Audi applies to all times.

But despite the festive mood: Audi also has unfinished business ahead of it. Ferdinand Dudenhoffer complains that there is no clearly recognizable future strategy for alternative drives. This can be attributed to Martin Winterkorn, today’s head of the Volkswagen Group and Stadler’s predecessor in the Audi office. "Winterkorn is a full throttle man," says Dudenhoffer. Audi has nothing to counter the so-called “Efficient Dynamics Strategy”, under which BMW combines various fuel-saving technologies. There is no hybrid model like the one Mercedes offers in the S-Class, and when it comes to electric cars, Audi is dependent on VW’s plans.

Then Dudenhoffer refers, with a trace of hurt in his voice, to the Oko-Globe-Award, an environmental car award that his institute presents every year: “All German manufacturers take part, but Audi doesn’t even apply.” They prefer to annoy Ferrari.

Related articles

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment