Volkswagen Denies Rumors of "Auto Union" Name Change

Audi Silver Arrows 1 photo
Photo: Audi
Volkswagen Group has issued a clear and concise statement regarding any speculation of a future naming change. As rumors about the return of the Auto Union brand circulated on the internet today, the German automotive conglomerate deemed it necessary to put all speculation to rest by saying that "the name of Volkswagen Group remains as it is," in a statement made for Dutch magazine Auto Visie.
Australian magazine GoAuto published a story in which it said various high ranking officials within Volkswagen Group are taking into consideration the name "Auto Union". According to them, this would help the different brands under the corporate umbrella to better differentiate themselves from Volkswagen.

As some people say an Audi A3 is just a Volkswagen with a different badge, mirroring Daimler might sound like a great idea. But of course, it's not as simple as just that. The Auto Union name is associated by some with the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler.

Auto Union co-founder doctor Richard Bruhn had strong connections to the Nazi party and is considered morally responsible for the 20,000 slave laborers who worked in their factories during the Second World War, of which 4,500 lost their lives.

Of course, BMW, Porsche and especially Volkswagen are all connected to Hitler in some way. But at the end of the day, it just doesn't seem like Volkswagen Group needs to change its corporate strategy. Under the leadership of CEO and chairman Martin Winterkorn, they look set to overtake Toyota and General Motors by the end of the decade.

Auto Union is, of course, the company that preceded Audi. The four rings represent the merger that took place between four different German companies in 1932 – Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. During the WWII, they built a number of military vehicles and troop transporters.

After the war, Volkswagen bought the rights to the brand and the Ingolstadt factory, starting a program that would eventually lead to common front-wheel drive models like the Audi 80 (A4 predecessor) and VW Passat.

This isn't the first time Auto Union's revival is talked about. In 2009 before the whole Porsche-VW corporate takeover thing came to fruition, British magazine Autocar suggested this was being considered internally.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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