AudiNamed after its founder, August Horch, Audi AG is a leading car manufacturer that has always stood for innovation in design and technology with more than a century of experience in automobile construction. The company is part of Volkswagen Group - the third large producer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009). Audi manufacturers a wide range of automobiles - from super small cars to crossover SUVs that cover all price ranges including the premium segment. Audi has always managed to live up to its corporate tagline "Vorsprung durch Technik", which means "Progress through Technology". The brand is the symbol not only of innovation but also of passion and dynamics. The Audi logo depicts four overlapping rings that represent the four brands of Auto Union - Audi's predecessor. These are: Audi (the first ring), Dampf-Kraft-Wagen (DKW - the second), Horch (the third) and Wanderer (the fourth). The company was first established under the name of A. Horch & Cie. by August Horch in 1899. In 1909 Horch left the company and established a new one with the name Audi - a Latin word, which... learn more
BMWBMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werken AG - one of the leaders in the premium car market, acknowledged for its performance, power and design. It is the 14th largest manufacturer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009). Currently, the company owns and produces automobiles under the brands BMW and Mini. It is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and produces motorcycles under the Husqvarna and BMW Motorrad brands. The company's brands cover all market sectors from exclusive smaller cars to top-of-the-range luxury limousines. BMW is the epitome of "sheer driving pleasure", behind which stand high quality products and services as well as premium standards and performance. The company's logo is a black circumference with text BMW, which encloses a blue and white circle. Some interpretations state that the blue and white depict an aircraft's propeller cutting through the blue sky. Other interpretations argue that it is meant to show the colors of the Free State of Bavaria. BMW is established in 1916 in Germany. In its early years it has been concentrated on producing... learn more
ChryslerChrysler Group LL, together with General Motors (GM) and Ford, Chrysler is one of the "Big Three" American automotive companies. With its brands Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM, it is the sixteenth largest car producer in the world (OICA, 2009). The company has always stood up for safety, performance and memorable design. Its history can be traced back to 1904 whit the establishment of the Maxwell-Briscoe Company, which in 1907 built the largest car factory in the world for its time. In 1913 Walter Flanders bought it and renamed it to Maxwell Motor Company. With 60 000 sold cars in 1914 it was considered one of the top American car manufactures. After the recession following WWI, Walter P. Chrysler took controlling interest in Maxwell. In 1925 was formed the Chrysler Corporation. The first Chrysler branded car - the 70 model, appeared in 1924. In 1926 were introduced the Touring and the Imperial, which remained in production till 1993. The early years of Chrysler were marked by numerous innovations, some adopted by the whole car manufacturing industry. To name a few: the first... learn more
CitroënCitroën is a leading car manufacturer, part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group - the second largest in Europe and the sixth largest producer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009). Citroën is founded in 1919 by André-Gustave Citroën. Its names has always been synonymous to revolutionary engineering innovation as well as keen marketing. It was the first mass-production car company outside of the USA employing a technique used by the company during WWI when it produced armaments for France. In 1924 the company launched the first all-steel-body car in Europe - the B10 model. In 1933 was introduced the first car in the world with the first commercial diesel engine - the Rosalie. In 1934 was launched the Traction Avant as the first mass-produced front-wheel drive car. In 1948 the 2CV model was presented, which lasted with minor changes till 1990. In 1954 Citroën produced the first hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system in the world. In 1955 it launched the first car with disk brakes in Europe - the DS model, which boasted the legendary hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension... learn more
FiatFiat is the abbreviation of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which means Italian Automobile Factory Turin. Since 1910 it is the largest Italian car manufacturer and the ninth largest car and LCV producer in the world (OICA, 2009). The company was established in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli and a group of investors and at present it is the largest industrial concern in Italy including the production of cars, buses, industrial and agricultural vehicles, financial services and many other activities in aviation, construction, information technologies, etc. The first car of Fiat was the 3 ½ CV. The company grew fast and in 1908 it exported the first Fiats to the USA, where owning a Fiat at that time was a mark of distinction. Though it had suffered from WWI, the company had 80% share of the Italian car market in 1920, which increased to 87% in 1925, after in 1923 Fiat built the largest car factory in Europe for its time. After WWII in 1945 the Italian Committee of National Liberation removed the Agnelli family from all leadership positions. It was 18 years later in 1963 that Gianni... learn more
FordThe Ford Motor Company is an American automaker, which owns the Ford, Lincoln (since 1922) and Mercury (since 1938, to be discontinued at the end of 2010) brands and has stakes in Aston Martin, UK and Mazda, Japan. It used to own Volvo, which was sold to the Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010 as well as Jaguar and Land Rover, which were sold to the Indian Tata Motors in 2008. The company was established in 1903 by Henry Ford. The major contribution of Ford in the automobile industry was the employment of large-scale car manufacturing by using manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines, which allowed producing plenty of units at low prices. The innovations and methods in production of Henry Ford were so influential that by 1914 they were known as Fordism. Its oval logo was introduced in 1907 with the Ford script and dark blue background introduced in 1928. The company has been family-controlled for more than a century. By the end of 1920 it was producing 50% of all cars in the USA and 40% of all cars in the UK. In 1965 were sold more than 2 million Ford cars... learn more
HondaHonda Motor Company, Ltd. is a multinational automobiles and motorcycles manufacturer based in Japan - the seventh largest car and LCV manufacturer in the world (OICA, 2009). The company was established after WWII in 1948 by Soichiro Honda. Since his childhood days Mr Honda has always had keen interest in automobiles, engines and their construction. The first years after WWII were tough for all businesses and people could barely use their cars due to gas shortages, so Mr Honda came up with the idea to attach a small engine to his bicycle. He saw a huge business potential in this and established the Honda Technical Research Institute as a developer and produces of small two-cycle engines for bikes. Afterward he raised money from thousands of bicycle shop owners in Japan engineer his first motorcycle, the Honda Cub. Thus the Honda Motor Company was established as a primarily motorcycles manufacturer. This business grew so fast that from the early 1960s till nowadays Honda is the world's largest producer of motorcycles. The company entered the car manufacturing market in 1963 by... learn more
MazdaMazda Motor Corporation is a Japanese car manufacturer founded by Jujiro Matsuda. In 1921 he took over Toyo Cork Kogyo, ceased the production of cork and started producing machine tools. In 1931 it switched to manufacturing vehicles with the first model being Mazda-Go. This marked the beginning of Mazda Motor Corporation. In the early 1960s Mazda started a major development of the Wankel rotary engine as it wanted to differentiate itself from its competitors. These engines provided good power and light weight in comparison to the V6 and V8 piston-driven engines of its competitors, who produced the same power but were much heavier. From that moment on Mazda rapidly started exporting vehicles both with rotary and piston-driven engines. The RX series and the R100 were the company's top sellers. Nowadays it has become the sole manufacturer of Wankel-type engines. The 1973 oil-crises slowed down the company as customers were seeking for cars with better fuel efficiency. At that moment Mazda put its efforts in its small Familia series with piston-driven engines and preserved the rotary... learn more
Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is a division of Daimler AG - the twelfth largest producer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009). The company combines pioneering innovations, industry-leading safety features and capturing design as to set the standards for rewarding driving experience. Mercedes-Benz is the oldest automotive brand in the world still in existence today. Since its inception it has been one of the most praised brands with an excellent reputation of high quality and durability. The origins of the company date back to 1886 when in January Karl Benz patented the first petrol-powered car (Benz Patent Motorwagen) and later the same year Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach added a petrol engine to a stagecoach. As a brand Mercedes appeared for the first time in 1901 by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. In 1926 Karl Benz's and Gottlieb Daimler's companies formed the Daimler-Benz company and the brand changed to Mercedes-Benz. Benz and Daimler are the masterminds behind a plethora of innovations, including the invention of the internal combustion engine, which make cars what they are today.... learn more
NissanNissan (official name Nissan Motor Company Ltd.) is a a multinational company based in Japan - the eighth largest producer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009). Nissan was established in 1928 as a holding company named Nippon Sangyo. It was listed with abbreviation in the Tokyo stock market, which ended up in being Nissan in the 1930s. By WWII it included 74 companies and was Japan's fourth largest concern. In 1931 Nissan bought shares from DAT Motors, which it merged with its own Tobata Casting in 1933. This is the year in which the company officially entered the automobile manufacturing market. DAT Motors was established in 1914 as a truck manufacturer. Its name was an abbreviation of the family names of its founders. In 1931 it produced the first supermini Datson car (the "son" of the already existing larger DAT car). When Nissan took control of Dat Motors, the name of the car was changed to Datsun, as "son" in Japanese meant "loss". In 1934 the car production division was separated as a new subsidiary called Nissan Motor Co. It was in the 1950s that the company endeavored... learn more
OpelOpel is one of the oldest, most famous and reputed car brands in the world. It has always stood for innovative technologies, environmental friendliness and appealing design. Its tagline "Wir leben Autos" means "We live cars" and expresses the company's passion for engineering and commitment to creating vehicles that become an essential part of every day life. The company was established by Adam Opel in 1863 but it was in 1899 that the first Opel car was produced. With a series of very successful models, including the 1909 Doctor's car, Opel gradually turned into the largest German manufacturer of motor vehicles by 1914. Continuing its innovations on all levels, during the 1920s Opel became the first German car manufacturer to incorporate a mass production car assembly line and launched the upmarket Laubfrosch, with which Opel moved upmarket. By 1928 it became the largest automobile exporter of Germany. At that time the RAK 1 and 2 models, were its most famous models. It attracted the attention of General Motors, which in 1931 acquired 100% of Opel. In 1935, Opel became the first... learn more
PeugeotPeugeot is one of the most famous French car brands. It is part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group, which is the second largest car manufacturer in Europe and the sixth largest in the world (OICA, 2009). The Peugeot family had a diverse business established in 1810 and the lion trademark was reserved in 1858. It entered the car business in 1889 and produced its first automobile. In 1890 under the license of Daimler Peugeot produced a rather sophisticated car compared to its contemporaries. During the following years car production gradually increased with the models bearing a "Type number" name - a nomenclature started in 1895. In that period Peugeot became the first manufacturer to put rubber tires on a petrol-powered car. It was also one of the pioneers of motor racing. In 1896 the company started producing its own engines and was no longer dependent on Daimler. The two-cylinder Bébé model, which became a style leader, was first introduced in 1901. By 1903 the company produced 50% of the cars in France. In the following years the company continued expanding and launching new models... learn more
RenaultRenault was founded in 1898 by the brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault. While Marcel and Fernand were responsible for the management, it was Louis who was responsible for the engineering. He managed to produce several cars incorporating his own inventions two years prior to founding the company. From its very first years Renault has a strong reputation for innovation and has participated in all major racing competitions with major wins. In 1899 the company launched the first sedan car in production. It incorporated several techniques for mass production in 1905 including the Taylorism in 1913. During WWI the company produced tanks, which were deemed to have a major contribution to the successful outcome of the war for the Allies. In 1925 Renault introduced its diamond-shaped logo. It was the 40CV model, which wore it for the first time. This model won the Monte Carlo rally and set a number of records: a world record with 3,384.74 km covered in 24 hours at an average speed of 141.03 kph; a lap record of 178.475 kph in 1925 as well as a record for fuel economy. After WWII in... learn more
SkodaŠkoda, the short version of Škoda Auto, is a Czech Republic based car manufacturer, part of the Volkswagen Group - the third largest producer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009). The history of the company began in 1895 when Václav Klement and Václav Laurin established in Mladá Boleslav a company for bicycles and motorcycles. Since than the company's main principle has been that only the best is good enough for its customers. Its first cars appeared in 1905. After WWI the company was bought out by Škoda Works - an arms manufacturer since 1859, which has turned into a huge industrial concern. One of its most successful models from that period is the late 1930s Škoda Popular. During WWII the company seized car production and became a part of the Hermann Göring Werke. After the war, the factory in Mladá Boleslav was reconstructed, the company was nationalized and car production was renewed starting with the 1101 series. Till the 1960s Škoda confirmed its reputation of quality and safety with models such as the 440 Spartak, 445 Octavia, Felicia and 1000 MB. During the 1970s and... learn more
ToyotaToyota Motor Corporation, or simply Toyota, is based in Japan and is a part of Toyota Group - the world's fifth largest conglomerate. Prior to its establishment it was a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. It has already produced its first engine in 1934 and its first car in 1936 sold under the name Toyoda. In 1937 Kiichiro Toyoda separated the division as a company called Toyota Motor Company. The name was changed to Toyota because it sounded better. Furthermore, in Japanese Toyota is written with eight brush strokes, which is a sign of wealth and fortune. Also, Toyoda means "fertile rice paddies" and the name distinguished the company from associations with farming. It was not until 1990 that it introduced its world-wide logo, which includes two ellipses forming the letter T for Toyota and a third ellipse, which encircles the first two. During WWII Toyota produced mainly trucks and after the war it was on the verge of bankruptcy. With change in management and huge orders from the US military during the Korean Was the company managed to merge out of the crises and started... learn more
VolkswagenVolkswagen or VW is part of the third largest car and LCV manufacturer in the world (OICA, 2009) - Volkswagen Group AG. The group owns and manages eight other brands: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, Skoda, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, with which the company covers a huge product range from low-consumption small cars to luxury class vehicles for passengers and spans pick ups, buses and heavy trucks for commercial use. The name of Volkswagen means "people's car" as it was conceived with the idea to provide a basic, safe and comfortable automobile, which can be afforded by the majority of people. Today the brand is synonymous to "car" in general and it is not by chance that its present slogan is "Das Auto" - The Car. Volkswagen nowadays stands for attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles, which are highly competitive in their specific classes. Some of the best achievements of the brand are the most economical car of all time, the largest and most potent diesel powerplant ever to be installed in a passenger vehicle, the fastest sports car in the... learn more
VolvoVolvo is a Swedish manufacturer of cars, trucks, buses, marine engines, aerospace drive systems, construction equipment, etc. The unit producing the automobiles is called Volvo Car Corporation. The Volvo trademark was registered in 1911 by SKF AB and the company itself was incorporated in 1915 as a subsidiary of SKF. However, for its birthday is considered the day in which the first Volvo car left the automobile factory in Gothenburg - 14 April 1927. The car model was ÖV 4. The name Volvo comes from Latin and means 'I roll' and was conceived as the name of a special series of ball bearings produced by SKF but the company didn't use till 1924 when its founders Gustav Larson and Assar Gabrielsson decided to build safe cars, which could withstand the harsh weather and rough roads of Sweden. Since that moment on the main values in producing cars under the Volvo brand are safety, design, quality and environment protection. The brand has always been synonymous to solidity and reliability. The average age of a Volvo to be discarded is 19.8 years, which is second only to Mercedes cars. The... learn more
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