Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen
|Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen|
July 30, 1878|
|Died||August 12, 1964
|Occupation||Engineer and industrialist|
|Known for||Founder of Auto Union|
|Children||Ilse, Hans, Ove and Arne|
Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen (1878 – 1964) was a Danish engineer and industrialist. He moved to Germany and established several automobile and motorcycle manufacturing companies, including DKW and Framo. Rasmussen acquired a majority interest in Audi in 1928, which four years later became Auto Union with the merger of DKW, Audi, and others.
The 1929 world economic crisis hit Rasmussen's businesses hard, as demand for motor-bikes and passenger cars slumped. In 1930 the Saxony Regional Bank, which had financed Rasmussen's business expansion in the 1920s, installed Richard Bruhn (1886 - 1964) on the board of Audi-Werke AG, and there followed a brutal pruning and rationalization of the various auto-businesses that Rasmussen had accumulated. The outcome was the founding in Summer 1932 of Auto Union AG with just four component businesses, being Audi, DKW, Horch and the car producing piece of Wanderer. The Auto Union group rapidly grew to become Germany's second auto producer, behind only Opel in terms of passenger car market share. Rasmussen remained on the board until 1934 when he was removed following "differences" with fellow board members.
Rasmussen now left Zwickau, purchasing an estate at Sacrow which today has become a district in Potsdam, and where he lived with his family till 1945. In 1945 he joined the flight from the Soviet invasion, relocating to Flensburg, and in 1947 he returned to Denmark. From 1947 he lived in Hareskovby, where in the 1950s he built motor-bikes under the DISA name. After his 75th birthday he and his wife moved to Copenhagen.
- "Names Behind The Company: Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen". AutoWeek: 20. November 30, 2009.
- Oswald, Werner: Deutsche Autos 1920-1945, volume 2, p. 85
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