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, remaining in charge of the motor-vehicle construction department there until 1899. He can be said to have accompanied and contributed much to the development of the automobile during its earliest days.
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, then again two years later to the Horch Werke’s final location in Zwickau.
In 1909 differences of opinion led to August Horch left the company he had founded. Only a few weeks later he had established a second car factory. This was named Audi, in 1910 – a Latin translation of his own name. Horch retired as Chairman from the Audiwerke AG’s Board of Management in 1920, and began to pursue a career as expert consultant and assessor in automotive engineering matters. When the new Auto Union AG company was formed in June 1932, he was invited to join its Supervisory Board. August Horch died on February 3, 1951 in Münchberg, Upper Franconia.