Dampf Kraft Wagen
DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen, English: "steam-powered car", also Deutsche Kinder-Wagen English: "German children's car". Das-Kleine-Wunder, English: "the little wonder" or Des-Knaben-Wunsch, English: "the boy's wish"- from when the company built toy two-stroke engines) was a German car- and motorcycle-marque. DKW was one of the four companies that formed Auto Union in 1932 and thus became an ancestor of the modern-day Audi company.
In 1916, Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen founded a factory in Zschopau, Saxony, Germany, to produce steam fittings. That year he attempted to produce a steam-driven car, called the DKW. Although unsuccessful, he made a two-stroke toy engine in 1919, called Des Knaben Wunsch – "the boy's wish". He put a slightly modified version of this engine into a motorcycle and called it Das Kleine Wunder – "the little wonder" the initials from this becoming the DKW brand: by the late 1920s, DKW had become the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer.
In September 1924, DKW bought Slaby-Beringer, saving them from Germany's hyperinflation economic crisis. Rudolf Slaby became chief-engineer at DKW. In 1932, DKW merged with Audi, Horch and Wanderer to form Auto Union. After World War II, DKW moved to West Germany. The original factory became MZ. Auto Union came under Daimler-Benz ownership in 1957 and was purchased by the Volkswagen Group in 1964. The last German-built DKW car was the F102, which ceased production in 1966. Its successor, the four-stroke F103, was marketed under the Audi brand, another Auto Union marque.
DKW-badged cars continued to be built under license in Brazil and Argentina until 1967 and 1969 respectively. The DKW trademark is currently owned by Auto Union GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Audi AG which also owns the rights to other historical trademarks and intellectual property of the Auto Union combine.
Source: Bonhams, Conceptcarz, Supercars, Wikipedia, other