The 77-year old Auto Union brand, made famous by the success of the Silver Arrows grand prix cars of the 1930s, could be revived as the name of the soon to be merged Porsche and VW.
The chairman of the Volkswagen Group, Dr Ferdinand Piech, revealed that the historic name was being considered for when the two companies finally merge.
Volkswagen has stolen a march on Porsche, which looked likely to takeover VW until its debt and a lack of available credit stalled the plan. Now VW is proposing a merger that will effectively give it control of Porsche and could end with the removal of Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking, credited with the revival of the company and its transformation into the world’s most profitable car maker per vehicle.
The revival of the Auto Union name could generate some controversy due to its associations with Nazi Germany.
Although it existed before Hitler came to power – Auto Union was created from the merger of three car firms in 1932, with the subsequent purchase of Wanderer adding a fourth name to the list - the firm built the technologically advanced 12 and 16-cylinder grand prix racers that, along with Mercedes racers, were known as the Silver Arrows. They were used as propaganda by Hitler to demonstrate the engineering capability of the Third Reich.