September 2002

Milestones in the History of the Neckarsulm Production Site

1873 Established by Christian Schmidt in Riedlingen, knitting machine production

1880 - Moved to Neckarsulm (seven workers, two staff)

1886 - Beginning of bicycle manufacturing: "Hoch-Niederrad"

1888 - Production of the chassis for the first four-wheeler Daimler steel wheel car.

1900 - NSU is the first German motorcycle factory

1906 - Beginning of car manufacturing: Original Neckarsulm Motorcar

1909 - Three cars reach the finish of the 1,839 km "Prinz Heinrich Fahrt", first speed record on an NSU, by Lingenfelder in Los Angeles, at 124 km/h

1923 - Victories at the Avus circuit with the 5/15 supercharged racing car. Production: a car every 2 hours, a motorcycle every 20 minutes, a bicycle every 5 minutes.

1925 - Overall winner of the first "Grand Prix for Sports Cars", with the NSU. 6/60 PS supercharged racing car

1926 - NSU accomplishes quadruple class win in the German Grand Prix at the Avus circuit.

1927 - NSU is the first German car plant to introduce the assembly line.

1929 - Fiat of Turin buys the NSU plant in Heilbronn

1930 - William Moore becomes chief designer at NSU. His NSU vertical-shaft bikes are the fastest of their era. Tom Bullus becomes one of the most successful riders of his age on an NSU.

1934 - NSU builds the prototype Porsche type 32 to the plans of Ferdinand Porsche. It is the predecessor to the Volkswagen Beetle.

1936 - The NSU Quick becomes the people's motorcycle, with over 240,000 built

1940 - Beginning of NSU motorcycle half-track production.

1945 - Destruction of the NSU plant

1949 - First new post-war design - the NSU Fox four-stroke. Followed by Lux, Max, Lambretta and Quickly

1950 - Victory in the German Championship in the 350 cc class, won by Heiner Fleischmann. Victory in the German Championship in the 500 cc sidecar class, won by Hermann Böhm.

1951 - Absolute speed record for motorcycles Supercharged 500 cc, Wilhelm Herz (at 290 km/h), Supercharged 500 cc sidecar, Hermann Böhm (at 248 km/h), Beginning of Lambretta construction under licence

1953 - World Championship in the 125 und 250 cc classes, won by Werner Haas German Championship in the 125 and 250 cc classes (Haas)

1954 - World Championship in the 125 cc class (Hollaus) and in the 250 cc class (Haas). Speed records by G. A. Baumann in the 50 cc and 100 cc classes, at 127 km/h and 178 km/h. German Championship in the 125 and 250 cc classes (Haas) and in the 350 cc class (H. P. Müller)

1955 - World Championship on a Sportmax in the 250 cc class, won by H. P. Müller German Championship on a Sportmax in the 250 cc class, won by Hans Baltisberger. Largest two-wheeler factory in the world: 350,000 units per year. The best-selling motorcycle in Germany: NSU Max, 23, 000 per year. NSU holds all the speed records in all the solo classes from 50 cc to 500 cc.

1956 - Absolute speed record for motorcycles on a supercharged NSU 500 cc, at 339 km/h, by Wilhelm Herz.

1957 - Beginning of development of the Wankel engine

1958 - Reintroduction of car production; production of the NSU Prinz begins

1960 - Production of the millionth Quickly

1964 - First production car in the world with a rotary piston engine: the NSU/Wankel Spider

1966 - Victory in the German Rally Championship by an NSU/Wankel Spider

1967 - Series production of the NSU Ro 80 begins. The first German car to be awarded the title, "Car of the Year"

1969 - Merger to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG

1970 - Production of the Audi 100 LS starts at the Neckarsulm plant. Construction of a modern training centre and a Wankel Centre

1972 - Production of the Audi 100 Coupé S starts at the Neckarsulm plant

1973 - Rebuilding of the body shop, the pressing shop, warehousing and the paint shop

1975 - Production of the Porsche 924 and Porsche 944 starts

1976 - Production of the 2nd generation Audi 100 starts. Modernization and rationalization in the production department

1977 - The first 5-cylinder Audi 100. Production of the Audi 100 Avant starts

1978 - Partial renovation of the paint shop and expansion of cavity protection

1979 - Production of the Audi 200 starts

1980 - Audi presents quattro permanent four-wheel-drive. Expansion of the body shop

1982 - Drag coefficient of 0.30: "World record" for the new, 3rd generation Audi 100

1983 - The Audi 100 is chosen as the 1983 "Car of the Year". Production of the Audi 200 starts

1985 - Introduction of fully galvanized bodywork. Renamed as "AUDI AG", with headquarters in Ingolstadt

1986 - District heating supply, official opening of the Exhaust and Acoustics. Centre in the Research and Development department

1987 - All petrol engines now have exhaust emission control as standard. Opening of the vehicle sales centre for customers to collect their own cars

1988 - Production of the Audi V8 starts. 10-year guarantee against body rust penetration. Construction of a new training centre. Restructuring of assembly

1989 - Introduction of the turbodiesel engine with direct injection. Modernisation of the paint shop

1990 - Production of the 4th generation Audi 100 starts, plus for the first time with a 6-cylinder engine. Construction of a bodywork storage facility

1991 - Production of the Audi 100 Avant starts. Production under contract for Porsche ceases

1992 - The three millionth Audi 100 since the start of production leaves the line. Neckarsulm is the first CFC-free car plant in Germany

1994 - Production of the Audi A8 starts. The first production car in the world with completely aluminium bodywork. Production of the Audi A6 (face-lift) starts

1995 - Official opening of the paint shop and the northern works rail sidings. Construction of the Aluminium Centre

1996 - Inauguration of the commercial and industrial park in Bad Friedrichshall. Relocation of production of the Audi Cabriolet from Ingolstadt to Neckarsulm

1997 - Restructuring of the press shop and assembly. Creation of the new A6 body shop. The Neckarsulm plant is presented with an award by the Environment Ministry of Baden Württemberg for environmentally aware management. Production of the Audi A6 (C5) starts

1998 - Production of the Audi A6 Avant starts. Expansion of tool-making and the new paint shop. The factory celebrates its 125th anniversary

2000 -vStart of mass-production of an aluminium car for the first time: the Audi A2. Production of the allroad quattro and the RS 4 starts (quattro GmbH)

2001 - Launch of the first 3 litre/100 km car (Audi A2 1.2 TDI). The plant passes its third EU eco-audit

2002 - Press launch and start of production of the RS6 (quattro GmbH). The 100,000th Audi A8 leaves the assembly line. Production of the new Audi A8 starts.