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four-stroke engines. They began selling shares, which with the agreed help of the West German Government, were acquired by Volkswagenwerk AG.

In 1964, Volkswagen acquired the factory in Ingolstadt and the trademark rights of Auto Union, with the exception of the dormant Horch brand which Daimler-Benz retained. A programme that Daimler had initiated at Auto Union created a range of cars that would subsequently provide the basis for Volkswagen's line of front-wheel-drive models, such as the Audi 80 and Volkswagen Passat. At the time a new model, internally designated F103, was under development. This was based on the last DKW model, the DKW F102, with a four-stroke engine implanted and some front and rear styling changes. Volkswagen abandoned the DKW brand because of association with two-stroke engines, effectively leaving Volkswagen with the Audi brand. The new model was launched in September 1965 as simply the "Audi." The name was a model designation rather than the manufacturer, wh

In 1964, Volkswagen acquired the factory in Ingolstadt and the trademark rights of Auto Union, with the exception of the dormant Horch brand which Daimler-Benz retained. A programme that Daimler had initiated at Auto Union created a range of cars that would subsequently provide the basis for Volkswagen's line of front-wheel-drive models, such as the Audi 80 and Volkswagen Passat. At the time a new model, internally designated F103, was under development. This was based on the last DKW model, the DKW F102, with a four-stroke engine implanted and some front and rear styling changes. Volkswagen abandoned the DKW brand because of association with two-stroke engines, effectively leaving Volkswagen with the Audi brand. The new model was launched in September 1965 as simply the "Audi." The name was a model designation rather than the manufacturer, which was still officially Auto Union. As more models were later added to the Audi range, this model was renamed Audi 72.

In 1969, Auto Union merged with NSU Motorenwerke AG, based in Neckarsulm, near Stuttgart. In the 1950s, NSU had been the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles, but had moved on to produce small cars like the NSU Prinz, the TT and TTS versions of which are still popular as vintage race cars. NSU then focused on new rotary engines based on the ideas of Felix Wankel. In 1967, the new NSU Ro 80 was a space-age car, well ahead of its time in technical details such as aerodynamics, light weight, and safety but teething problems with the rotary engines put an end to the independence of NSU. The mid-sized car NSU had been working on, the K70, was intended to slot between the rear-engined Prinz models and the futuristic NSU Ro 80. However, Volkswagen took the K70 for its own range, spelling the end of NSU as a separate brand.

After being merged with Neckarsulm car maker NSU, the official name became Audi NSU Auto Union AG, which was simply shortened to Audi AG in 1985, ending both the Auto Union and NSU brands. The company's headquarters returned to Ingolstadt; at the same time Audi formed the new companies Auto Union GmbH, and NSU GmbH as wholly owned subsidiaries whose function was to own and protect the historical trademarks and intellectual property of both Auto Union and NSU.

In May 2009, Porsche gained majority control of Volkswagen Group and proposed a merger of the two companies.[After being merged with Neckarsulm car maker NSU, the official name became Audi NSU Auto Union AG, which was simply shortened to Audi AG in 1985, ending both the Auto Union and NSU brands. The company's headquarters returned to Ingolstadt; at the same time Audi formed the new companies Auto Union GmbH, and NSU GmbH as wholly owned subsidiaries whose function was to own and protect the historical trademarks and intellectual property of both Auto Union and NSU.

In May 2009, Porsche gained majority control of Volkswagen Group and proposed a merger of the two companies.[citation needed] In August 2009, Volkswagen AG's supervisory board signed the agreement to create an integrated Auto group with Porsche led by Volkswagen.[citation needed] Volkswagen will initially take a 42% stake in Porsche AG by the end of 2009, and see the family[clarification needed] shareholders selling the automotive trading business of Porsche Holding Salsburg to Volkswagen. Rumors began to appear in the press the name Auto Union would be revived for the new group holding company.[19]

The trademark symbol of Auto Union (and present-day Audi), the four overlapping rings, symbolized the four marques forming Auto Union: Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer.[20][21]

Although Auto Union used the four ring logo, it was only used on Auto Union racing cars in that period, while the member companies used their own names and emblems.

There is also a version of logo that uses

Although Auto Union used the four ring logo, it was only used on Auto Union racing cars in that period, while the member companies used their own names and emblems.

There is also a version of logo that uses both overlapping and interlocking rings.[22]

Auto Union was tributed at the 1999 Monterey Historic Automobile Races.[23]

See also