In 1941, Audi shifted its attention to manufacturing military vehicles due to the impending war. Soon enough, the car manufacturer became an incredibly popular supplier of vehicles in the mid 40s. Like many German manufacturers, Auto Union plants became a target for allied bombing during the Second World War.
Therefore, in 1945, the US Army raid caused great damage to Audi’s plant and a few years later Auto Union AG was removed from the commercial register. However, Audi didn’t give up and began assembling pre-war models in 1949. Additionally, the company was renamed to Auto Union GmbH and continued DKW’s tradition of manufacturing front-wheel drive cars with two-stroke engines.
By 1953, the company launched the famous Sounderklasse, which was developed before the war in Chemnitz. A few years later, Daimler-Benz took over Auto Union and work on new plant in Ingolstadt was started. This was one of the most modern production plants in Europe. In 1964, Volkswagen AG once again acquired majority shares of Auto Union.
In 1966, Auto Union became a fully-owned subsidiary of VW. However, the new owner did not give up the Audi name and logo and presented the DKW Model F 102 as an Audi. It was during this time that the company went through significant changes and redesigned most of their models. In 1972, Audi introduced a new mid-size vehicle: the Audi 80.
By the end of the 70s, Audi 50 and 100 Avant made their debut in the market which were incredibly reliable and wallet-friendly vehicles. They were introduced as an answer to the energy crisis and were launched in the market as VW Polo.