German engineer August Horch, who used to work for Karl Benz, founded his own automobile company A

His former partners sued him, and e

The Romeo part came in 1916 when Neapolitan businessman Nicola Romeo bought the company and converted its factories to produce munitions and machineries for World War I. After the war, the company went back to producing cars and took on its owner’s last name to become Alfa Romeo.Aston Martin

The idea was enthusiastically accepted by everyone attending the meeting

Horch & Cie in 1899. A decade later, he was forced out of his own company and set up a new company in another town and continued using the Horch brand.

When Horch was talking to his business partner Franz Fikentscher at Franz’s apartment, Franz’s son came up with the name Audi:

During this meeting Franz’s son was quietly studying Latin in a corner of the room. Several times he looked like he was on the verge of saying something but would just swallow his words and continue working, until he finally blurted out, “Father – audiatur et altera pars… wouldn’t it be a good idea to call it audi instead of horch?”. “Horch!” in German means “Hark!” or “listen”, which is “Audi” in Latin. (Source: Wikipedia, A History of Progress (1996) – Chronicle of the Audi AG)

And so Audiwerke GmbH was born in 1910. In 1932, four car makers Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer merged to form Auto Union. The logo of Auto Union, four interlinked rings that would later become the modern Audi logo, was used only in racing cars – the four factories continued to produce cars under their own names and emblems.

Fast forward to 1985 (skipping a whole lot of history), when Auto Union ultimately became the Audi we know today.

In 1913, Karl Friedrich Rapp and Gustav Otto founded two separate aircraft factories that would later merge to form BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (Bavarian Motor Works). Rapp and Otto actually had little to do with BMW’s manufacturing of cars. Josef Popp, Max Friz and Camillo Castiglioni were the ones who played big roles in making BMW a modern car manufacturer.

The circular BMW logo was a representation of a spinning propeller of a Bavarian Luftwaffe. At the time, aircrafts were painted with regional colors and the colors of the Bavarian flag were white and blue. It is said that the pilot saw the propeller as alternating segments of white and blue, hence the logo. The roundel was a nod to Karl Rapp’s original company.

During World War I, BMW was a major supplier of airplane engines (and later airplanes such as the Red Baron) (thanks Redditors!) to the German government. After the war, Germany was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles to manufacture airplanes and BMW was forced to change its business: it first made railway brakes before making motorized bicycle, motorcycles and cars.

The Buick Motor Company was founded in 1903 by David Dunbar Buick, a Scottish-American inventor who invented the overhead valve engine. If you didn’t recognize the name, you’re not alone – but remember this: Buick, a high school drop out founded a company that later became the world’s largest auto company, General Motors.

At 15 years of age, Buick dropped out of school to work for a plumbing fixture manufacturer. When that business failed, Buick and his friend took it best way to find a hookup in Darwin over – but within a few years, Buick had an argument with his partner because he preferred to spend his time tinkering with car engines. Buick sold his share in the company and quit.

With the money, Buick founded the Buick Motor Company and within a few years ran it to the ground. He was kicked out of the company by his partner William “Billy” Durant in 1906 and later sold his stock for a mere $100,000. Had he held on to his shares, it would’ve been worth well over $100 million today. In his later years, Buick held low-paying jobs and couldn’t even afford a telephone. He died penniless as an inspector at the Detroit School of Trades. Ironically, years later Durant himself would be forced out. General Motors, the company that Durant built, refused him pension and he died almost penniless. (Source)