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The four rings once stood for the second largest car company in Germany. However, the vehicles did not come from Bavaria at the time, but from Saxony. With the compact electric SUV Q4, Audi is now returning to its roots. The first Audi saw the light of day in Zwickau a good 110 years ago – now the company is returning to its place of origin. Production of the Q4 E-Tron will start this week in the Volkswagen Sachsen factory , and another Audi model, the Q4 Sport back, will be added in the summer. “Zwickau and the Audi brand are linked by a long tradition,” says Production Board Member Peter Kessler. This goes back to the engineer August Horch (1868-1951), who gave the company its name: It is the translation of the imperative “horch!” Into Latin. Horch is one of the founders of the automotive tradition in Saxony. In 1909 he founded a company in Zwickau at the second attempt, which was renamed “Audi” a year later. After the merger with other Saxon vehicle manufacturers in 1932, four rings became the trademark of Auto Union, which rose to become the second largest car group in the then German Empire – after Opel, as the managing director of the August Horch Museum, Thomas Stebich, explains. After the Second World War, the board and some engineers went to West Germany. They re-founded the company in Bavaria, and numerous skilled workers followed across the border, Stebich reports. “In Ingolstadt, Saxon was the second official language for a while.” In Zwickau, the Trabant was later built on the former company premises. Volkswagen has been producing in the Mosel district since the early 1990s. Stebich: “We have a consistent automotive tradition here that hardly exists anywhere else in Germany or the world in a comparable density.”

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