DKW logo

DKW Logo

Information about the company DKW
FounderJørgen Skafte Rasmussen
HeadquartersZschopau, Germany (1906-1932) Chemnitz (1932-1949) Ingolstadt (1949-1969)
SuccessorAuto Union AG (1932-1969) Audi NSU Auto Union AG (1969-1985) Audi AG (1985-present)

DKW (Dampf Kraft Wagen) is a famous German brand of automobiles and motorcycles. Partners Rasmussen and Ernst based a company in Chemnitz, which specialized in machinery and equipment selling. Soon its production was relocated to Zschopau, and, in addition, its steam engines were accessorized. In 1916, Rasmussen worked on the project of creating an automobile with a steam engine and a patented the DKW trademark. But in 1921 his idea was rejected, so the company started releasing bicycles with a motor, and that was a real success. The first motorcycle was manufactured in 1922. During the 1928-1966 ADW released quality automobiles. They are the very first who used a wheel drive, and that was a real breakthrough. DKW Motorcycles Logo

In 1928, DKW and Zschopauer Motorwerke J. S. Rasmussen AG concerns were united. The number of released motorcycles reached to 65 thousand. At the same time, Rasmussen acquired the Audi factory. Due to some difficult financial situation, executives developed a plan of creating the Auto Union AG which was supposed to unite DKW, Audi, Horch, and Wanderer. Anyway, all the brand names were saved. After the war DKW factories were nationalized. The brand was revived by the Federal Republic of Germany, which supplied spare parts and manufactured motorcycles and vans. In 1949, a new fabrication, located in Ingolstadt, was successful. In 1958, it was relocated to Nuremberg.