The story of Audi starts well over 100 years ago.
In 1899, a man named August Horch founded his first automobile company – August Horch & Cie – in Germany.
10 years later he set up another company which would become the brand we know today – Audiwerke AG.
The company operated individually for a few years and later on, in 1932, four automobile manufacturers merged to form Auto Union AG.
Out of this, the four-interlocking-ring logo, that is still on the front of their vehicles in 2021, was born.
After the end of World War II, the main factory of Auto Union AG was completely destroyed and dismantled – and Soviet forces removed all company records from the commercial register of the city of Chemnitz.
Fortunately, less than two years later, Auto Union GmbH was formed.
At the time, a car named the NSU Ro 80 was a market leader in its segment.
Audi took inspiration from the car and from that came the company slogan “Vorsprung durch technik” (Advancement through technology).
Today, Audi builds a wide variety of vehicles and in South Africa there are 16 different models on offer.
As deliveries to customers throughout their long history is quite difficult to calculate, Audi South Africa provided us with the next best thing – the five cars the company built the most of to date, along with the amount of years those cars were in production.
Audi Q5 (B1 Model)
In 2008, the first generation of the Audi Q5 was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show.
It took design cues from its larger sibling, the Q7, and underpinnings from the A4 sedan.
Nine variants of the SUV were offered throughout its time on the market – and the company had plans to pump out a hybrid version, too.
The project was later abandoned due to unsatisfactory test results, but the Q5 B1 stayed in production for a total of 12 years.
Before the second generation was released in 2017, Audi had built 1,920,123 units of the first-generation Q5 SUV.
Audi A3 (A2 Model)
Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003, the second generation of the Audi A3 introduced several new engine options, a new automobile platform, and was initially only available in a 3-door specification.
Later on, the model line-up expanded to include a 5-door and convertible body style.
Through its 13 years in production, it also saw a new S3 being added which used a Volkswagen-based 2.0-litre engine that produced 195kW.
Before the release of the third generation, Audi saw total units of production reach 1,946,313 units.
Audi A6 (C7 Model)
The fourth generation of the Audi A6 was launched in 2011, initially only in European markets, and soon thereafter globally.
Eight engine variants were bound for different regions, but nothing less powerful than a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 130kW would be fitted to the executive sedan.
The car was a hit and was sold in both sedan and estate variations during its 11 years in production.
By the end, Audi had assembled 1,977,666 units of the A6 C7.
Audi A3 (A3 Model)
Again launched at the Geneva Motor Show, this newest version of the A3 went on sale in Europe in 2012.
The car was offered as a 3-door, 5-door, cabriolet, and saloon – the latter of which was aimed squarely at beating the Mercedes-Benz CLA.
It was fitted with high-tech features, such as adaptive cruise control and 4G connectivity.
During its 12 years in production, Audi assembled 2,307,009 units of the “A3” A3.
Audi A4 (B8 Model)
Audi introduced the fourth generation of the A4 in September of 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
It was available in both sedan and estate versions, and had five engine options to choose from throughout its lifetime.
This car was in production for 11 years, and takes the top spot for most cars produced by Audi – coming in at 2,569,545 units.