It originally began in 1885 as the Wanderer Co. In 1909, its founder changed it to Audi (pronounced AA-ooo-DEE).
The name is the Latin translation of the founder August Horch's surname (Horchen is “to listen” in German which is audire in Latin). It changed hands in 1928 when DKW purchased it. In 1932, it finally formed the Auto Union (Wanderer + Horch + DKW + Audi) and got its four rings.
For 7 years (until 1965) the company was owned by Daimler-Benz before the Volkswagen Group bought it.