History of the Museum

In 1975 first practical considerations were made to establish an automotive museum in Zwickau. Due to a scarce financial situation the ideas remained undone. It was not until 1988 that an unused cafeteria of the car factory “Sachsenring” could be turned into a permanent automotive exhibition. Initially it hosted 14 vintage cars, among them one Horch, one DKW and various IFA-automobiles such as the P 50, the P 70 and the upper class limo P 240.

After 1990 and the collapse of the GDR the funding body of the museum changed often. It was not until December 2000 that the car manufacturer Audi and the city of Zwickau started to cooperate in order to reform the August Horch Museum as a limited liability corporation with a charitable, non profit interest (gGmbH). Audi and Zwickau hold equal shares.

In 2002 comprehensive restoration works started and in September 2004 the automotive museum with a newly designed exhibition opened in the historical buildings of the Audi factory. In 2005 the exhibition was extended by the former office building and the August Horch Mansion to a size of about 3,000 square meters.

The restoration was facilitated by a generous donation by Audi and by the subsidies of the State of Saxony and the German federal government. The maintenance and extension of the museum in the past 15 years was secured by the city of Zwickau and the cultural support (Kulturraumförderung) of the state of Saxony.

After more than four years of construction works the museum expansion could be opened in November 2017. The exhibition space was more than doubled and now provides 6,500 square metres. The museum currently possesses a little more than 200 large-size exhibits, of which about 110 are shown in the permanent exhibition. Another 50 large-sized exhibits in the permanent exhibition are permanent loans.