Passion and Reason

Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen and DKW

The ideal type of an entrepreneur is characterized by creativity and passion, paired with economic rationality. J.S. Rasmussen (1878–1964), an engineer and entrepreneur, and his DKW-empire, are prototypical for many medium sized industrialists in Saxony. His example personifies how closely success and decline can be interconnected – from the rise to become the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer to the loss of economic independence as part of Auto Union AG, which was established in 1932.

Today, many people associate the name DKW with successful motorcycle racing and a range of small cars with numerous models. But there are very few people who know that DKW made engineering history with the F1 front-wheel drive vehicle on the frozen Eibsee Lake in Bavaria. With this, the enterprise became part of the Saxon automotive history that continues to thrive down to the present day.