The VDA can now look back on over 100 years of existence
The birthplace of the Association was in Eisenach. There, on 19 January 1901, the Verein Deutscher Motorfahrzeug-Industrieller (VDMI) - "Association of German Motor Vehicle Industrialists" - was founded by Gustav Vischer (manager of Daimler Motoren Cannstatt), Baron Eugène de Dietrich (Dietrich + Co. Niederbronn/Elsaß), Heinrich Kleyer (manager of Adler-Fahrradwerke Frankfurt/M.), Gustav Ehrhardt (manager of Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach), Willy Tischbein (manager of Conti Gummi), Moritz Hille (Hille-Werke Dresden), Wilhelm Opel (Opel Rüsselsheim), Karl Fichtel (Fichtel + Sachs Schweinfurt), and Gustav Freund (manager of Automobiltechnische Gesellschaft, Automobilausstellung Berlin). The first president of the VDMI was Gustav Vischer, and his vice-president was Baron Eugène de Dietrich.
The tasks that the VDMI set itself included the promotion of road transport, defence against "burdensome measures by the authorities" (taxation, liability obligations), customs protection and the monitoring of motor shows. In 1923, the VDMI was renamed the Reichsverband der Automobilindustrie (RDA). The present name, Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) was given to this umbrella organisation of the German automotive industry on 2 May 1946.