Founded by Heinrich Stoll and Christian Schmidt to manufacture knitting machines. Took the name NSU from the first letters in the names of the rivers surrounding the plant in which they operated, Neckar and Sulm. Following the increasing popularity of bicycles, devoted an ever increasing amount of production to their manufacture, first with the high wheelers, then to more modern, ballbearing equipped examples.
Progressed to the motorcycle and, in 1905, developed their first car. Within a few years were manufacturing a variety of different vehicles, from small taxi-cabs to trucks and all in-between. Manufactured both cars and motorcycles for the Wehrmacht during World War 1, after the war turning their attention to racing, gaining several Grand Prix victories. In 1923 developed the all-aluminium 8/24, but soon encountered financial difficulty and was sold to Fiat.
Built 3 prototype
Beetles for Ferdinand Porsche prior to World War 2. Continued to manufacture motorcycles after the war, then designed the 3 wheel Max Kabine, but this would gain a more traditional 4th wheel prior to entering production as the Prinz. Built the first Wankel motor in 1960 and a small Corvair styled Prinz 4 in 1963. Sold to the VW/Audi concern in 1969, the name discontinued in 1984.
Also see: The History of NSU (USA Edition)