Audi, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Porche are all German car manufacturers. According to All Cars Brands, Audi, Mercedes Benz and BMW are the top three brand. Each manufactures a wide range of vehicles, from minis to buses, but all three are known best for luxury vehicles. As of 2014, there are more than 15 minor car manufacturers in Germany.
Germany is considered the birthplace of the automobile. In the 1870s, Karl Benz and Nikolaus Otto, independent of each other, invented the four-stroke, internal-combustion engine. The Adam Opel Company, formed in 1863, began producing Lutzmann cars under license in 1898.
The first German brand car manufactured in Germany was produced in 1901, after the formation of the August Horch & Cie in 1899. Horch was forced out of the company by the board of directors in 1909 and went on to found the Audi Company in 1910. Horch, unable to use his name for legal purposes, chose to use the Latin translation to name his new company. Audi was acquired by DKW in 1928, and the two companies merged with Horch's original company and the Wanderers company, forming Auto Union. Also in 1928, the Bayrischen Motoren Werke Company bought the Dixi factory and began production of its first model, the BMW-Dixi 3/15.