Founder August Horch was fired from the Horch company early in his career. He decided to create a new company but was forbidden from using his last name for it. Instead he used his name's Latin translation, "Audi," meaning "to listen."
After World War I, Horch, Audi and two other car companies, DKW and Wanderer, joined together to form Auto Union. Their emblem -- four interlocking rings -- is the same familiar trademark that today represents Audi.