Personalities

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August Horch

August Horch was born in Winningen on the River Moselle. In 1896, he joined Carl Benz in Mannheim. In 1899, he opened a small motor-vehicle repair workshop, Horch Company, with partners in Cologne, and he built his first car in 1901. In 1909, due to differences of opinion, he left the company he had founded and soon established a car factory, which was named Audi. In 1920, Horch retired as Chairman from Audiwerke AG’s Board of Management, and later he began to pursue a career as expert consultants and assessor in automotive engineering matters.
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Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen

Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen was born in Denmark. In 1907, he set up a small factory in Zschopau (Erzgebirge) to make steam fittings. After 1918, he started to manufacture motorcycles. By 1928, his company DKW had become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Along with the outbreak of the world economic crisis in 1929, four companies, that is, Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, were merged into a new company called the Auto Union AG.
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Johann Baptist Winklhofer

Johann Baptist Winklhofer was born in Munich. After becoming the Rudge company’s sales representative, he made acquainted with Richard Adolf Jaenicke. In 1885, they joined forces to start a bicycle repair shop in the town of Chemnitz. A year later, they began to produce their own bicycles and sell them under the "Wanderer" name. In 1896, this business was renamed Wanderer Fahrradwerke AG. In 1916, he established a new company in Munich, which mainly manufactured munitions and machinery products marketed as the IWIS brand.
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Carl Hahn

Carle Hahn was born in Nove Hrady (then Gratzen in Bohemia). In 1922, he began his professional career as the “right-hand man” of J.S. Rasmussen. When Auto Union AG was established in Chemnitz, Carl Hahn joined the Board of Management and assumed responsibility for Sales and participated in a series of work with decisive significance. Within a short time, he built up a modern, efficient sales and marketing structure.
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Richard Bruhn

Richard Bruhn was born in Cismar, Eastern Holstein. In 1930, on behalf of the State Bank of Saxony, he conducted the lengthy negotiations, which ultimately led to the founding of Auto Union AG in Chemnitz in June 1932. After the Second World War, Richard Bruhn had an extensive network of relationships and a high reputation. Between 1949 and 1956, Dr. Richard Bruhn was Chairman of the Board of Management of Auto Union GmbH. He retired from the company in November 1956.
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Christian Schmidt

Christian Schmidt was born in Bietigheim/Enz. In 1873, he and Heinrich Stoll bought a small knitting machine factory in the town of Riedlingen. In 1875, the factory applied for its first patent. At the end of 1876, the two industrialists went their separate ways. In 1880, as the owner of the knitting machinery factory, Schmidt moved the factory and most of its machinery to Neckarsulm. In 1881, knitting machines from Neckarsulm were granted an award at an exhibition in Stuttgart.
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Bernd Rosemeyer

Bernd Rosemeyer was born in the town of Lingen in northwest Germany. He joined the NSU factory team in March 1933, but moved at the end of the year to the DKW racing department. In 1934, he began to participate in racing competitions on behalf of the company. In September 1935, he won his first outright victory in the Auto Union racing car. In 1936, Rosemeyer won the legendary “Fog Race” on the German Grand Prix in Nürburgring, and then got the championship in the following five events in quick succession. To date, he has been remembered as one of the greatest German racing drivers of all time.
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Ludwig Kraus

Ludwig Kraus was born in Hettenhausen in Southern Germany. In 1937, he joined Daimler-Benz AG as a designer in the engine production department. At the end of 1964, Auto Union GmbH was acquired by Volkswagenwerk AG. In 1969, after the formation of the new Audi NSU Auto Union AG, Ludwig Kraus was appointed to the new company’s Board of Management, with responsibility for Technical Development. He led the research and development of modern Audi car projects.
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Ferdinand Piëch

Ferdinand Piëch was born in Vienna, Austria. In 1963, he joined the engine testing department of Porsche KG. Later, he became Technical Director of Porsche KG. In 1975, Piëch became a board member of the Audi NSU Auto Union AG. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG in 1988, and five years later moved to Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, where he performed the same function. From 2002 to now, he has assumed Chairman of the Volkswagen AG Supervisory Board and a member of the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG.