Is Audi German?(And Where Are Audis Built?)

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German cars have a reputation for being some of the best quality, and highest performing vehicles in the world. Many German automotive brand names are synonymous with luxury, reliability, and engineering excellence.

But with so many cars to choose from, many people don’t know which car brands are actually from Germany. So what about Audi? Is Audi a German company?

Audi is a German automotive manufacturer that was founded in 1909. The company is headquartered in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany, and is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG.

In this article we will look into Audi’s history, where its cars are built, and some of the factors that give it a German feel.

Audi’s History in Germany

Audi has a long and complex history, with origins that can be traced back to 1909. The earliest predecessor of Audi was founded by August Horch, who established Audiwerke AG in Zwickau, Germany.

In 1932, four automotive brands merged (including Audiwerke AG) to create the company Auto Union AG. The merger of these four companies also created Audi’s now-famous logo – the four interlinked rings.

1934 Auto Union Typ A
A 1934 Auto Union Typ A

After World War II, Auto Union’s plant was dismantled and Auto Union GmbH was established in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, in West Germany. This is where Audi’s headquarters are still located today.

It wasn’t until 1965 when fellow German manufacturer Volkswagen bought a 50% stake in the company, that the Audi brand resurfaced after a 25 year absence.

Audi’s German Production Facilities

After being unable to continue operations in Soviet controlled Zwickau, East Germany, after World War II, Ingolstadt was chosen as Audi’s new home. Or rather, Auto Union as it was at the time.

Today, the Audi plant in Ingolstadt produces hundreds of thousands of cars every year, and it remains the company’s corporate headquarters.

The vast majority of the vital Audi work that goes on behind the scenes is also carried out in Germany – from design and development, to marketing and sales, and even Audi’s own crash testing facility to support the company’s safety-conscious approach.

But Ingolstadt is not the only Audi facility in Germany.

The site at Neckarsulm is the home of Audi Sport GmbH, and although smaller than Ingolstadt site, still produces well over 100,000 cars each year.

Audi has long produced cars for the global market, so despite being a thoroughly German company, there are production facilities all over the world. Locations include:

  • Belgium
  • Hungary
  • Mexico
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Brazil
  • India
  • China
  • Russia

The sheer number of Audi production sites shows that the company takes a global perspective when it comes to manufacturing, but remains firmly committed to its German roots.

And despite these additional production facilities not being based in Germany, you can rest assured that Audi has taken great care to ensure that the same high standards are upheld at every single one, so it can continue producing some of the highest quality cars in the world.

Audi Academy Hungary
Audi facilities have sprung up all over the world

What Makes an Audi Feel German?

There are several factors that give Audi a distinctly German feel. Aside from the company’s origins and headquarters in Germany, Audi has a very strong focus on engineering and luxury. Something that many German manufacturers do.

German engineering is renowned for its precision and quality, and Audi takes great pride in this. The company has a rich history of producing some of the best cars in the world, and this focus on quality is evident in every Audi that rolls off the production line.

Luxury is another key factor that contributes to Audi’s German feel. Luxury brands are often associated with high-end materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and an air of exclusivity. This is certainly true of Audi, which offers a wide range of luxury models to choose from.

From the S6 to the R8, there’s an Audi for everyone who wants to experience luxury at its finest.

Unfortunately luxury does come at a price, and Audis can be more expensive to buy than some other car brands out there, but with Audi you know you’re getting a car that’s been built to the highest standards.

Audi A8
The exclusive Audi A8

And it’s not only the high-quality manufacturing that goes into Audi’s cars that gives the brand a German feel. The company’s marketing material is also very much focused on Germany and its culture.

This focus is evident in Audi’s advertising as well. Ever since the 1970s, the company’s slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik” (Progress Through Technology) has been associated with the Audi brand.

This slogan is a perfect encapsulation of German engineering excellence, and perfectly illustrates why Audi feels so German.

So, although Audi is a global company with production facilities all over the world, its German heritage and focus on quality and luxury make it feel unmistakably German.

And there’s no doubt that this is something that appeals to many drivers around the world.

Final Thoughts

So, is Audi a German company? The answer is a resounding “yes”. Audi has a long and proud history in Germany, and its corporate headquarters are still located there.

Additionally, the vast majority of the vital work that goes on behind the scenes to produce Audis is also carried out in Germany.

Factor in Audi’s focus on engineering and luxury, and it’s clear that this brand is a quintessential representation of German automotive excellence.


Adam Chinn writes about the intersecting worlds of classic cars, driving pleasure, and smart investment strategies. Starting his journey at 26, he’s proven that one doesn’t need to be wealthy to begin investing in classic cars.

Adam’s insights have been recognized on platforms such as MoneyInc, Swagger Magazine, and Top Speed.

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