Here’s a rumour from GoAuto that has grabbed our interest, according to its report Volkswagen Group is considering a name change to Auto Union.
A possible theory for the change would be to establish a greater sense of independence for each of the brands under Volkswagen’s control, by removing the Volkswagen name from the umbrella company.
Volkswagen Group controls or owns outright the following marques: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In addition, the group is also the largest shareholder in Suzuki, with a 20% share.
Auto Union is not a new name in the motoring world and was the precursor to what we now know as Audi. Originally formed in 1932 and consisting of four companies—Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer—Auto Union was essentially dissolved by the Soviets after WWII.
However, soon after, in 1949, Auto Union came back to life building two-stroke DKWs. Daimler-Benz took a majority shareholding in 1958 and saw a return of the Auto Union brand and investment in the company’s Ingolstadt factory.
In 1964 Daimler-Benz began to offload its shares and later that year Volkswagen assumed control after it bought the rights to the Auto Union name and the Ingolstadt site. The Audi brand was revived in 1965 and remains as the sole survivor from those Auto Union days.