August Horch was born on October 12, 1868, in Winningen on the River Moselle; he was the son of a blacksmith. In 1896, after studying at the Technical College in Mittweida, he joined Carl Benz in Mannheim, where he took charge of the motor-vehicle construction department until 1899. He is widely regarded as playing a considerable part in the early days of automobile development.
In 1899 August Horch opened his own small motor-vehicle repair workshop in Cologne, building his first car in 1901. In 1902 he moved his company to Reichenbach in the Vogtland region of Germany, and then, two years later, he moved his company once again, this time to Zwickau, Horch Werke’s final location.
In 1909, differences of opinion led to August Horch leaving the company he had founded. Just a few weeks later, though, he had already established a second car factory. His new company was named Audi – a Latin translation of his own name. Horch retired as Chairman from the Audiwerke AG Board of Management in 1920, and began to pursue a career as an expert consultant and assessor in automotive engineering matters. When the new Auto Union AG company was formed in June 1932, he joined its Supervisory Board. August Horch died on February 3, 1951, in Münchberg, Upper Franconia.