|Centaur was the official mascot for the little know German company of Dixi. |
Heinrich Ehrhardt founded the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach (FFE) in Eisenach on 3 December 1896 as a stock company. Initially he produced bicycles and guns, but after two years he started to produce a motor car which he called the Wartburg, a licensed model of the French Decauville.
In 1903, the Ehrhardt family withdrew from management due to financial losses and also because the license to build Decauvilles was revoked. The factory began building under the new name, Dixi (Latin, “I have spoken”) in 1904 with Willi Seck as chief engineer. The top model, the type U35, was introduced in 1907 and was soon recognized for its reliability and performance with 65 hp (48 kW) and a top speed of 85 km/h (53 mph).
During World War I the company produced trucks and guns. Afterwards the factory suffered from reparations with removal of equipment. In 1919, car production resumed; but soon economic hardship forced a merger with Gothaer Waggonfabrik AG. Another result of the economic downturn was a change in output, focusing on small cars. In 1927 Dixi produced the DA-1 3/15, a version of the British Austin 7 built under licence.
In November 1928 BMW acquired the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach A.G. (Marke "Dixi") from the Gothaer Waggonfabrik bringing the independent existence of Dixi to an end and the Eisenach factory became the birthplace of car manufacturing by BMW. The Dixi continued briefly as the BMW Dixi but the renamed BMW-Factory Eisenach soon started making an updated version of the car called the BMW 3/15PS dropping the Dixi name. By 1931, 25000 cars had been produced in a series going from DA 1 to DA 4. The DA-3, a sporting version, saw a re-appearance of the Wartburg name. In 1932 a new small car, the 3/20 AM-1, was announced with independent suspension all round and an enlarged 788cc (48ci) engine.
This information was taken from: Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.