Škoda Auto

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Škoda Auto
Type Private company
Industry Automotive
When it was created 1895 as Laurin & Klement
People who started it Václav Laurin and Václav Klement
Headquarters Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic
Number of locations Factories in China, Czech Republic, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine
Area served Europe, Asia, South America, Australasia
Key people H.C. Winfried Vahland (Chairman of the Board of Directors), Martin Winterkorn (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Things made Automobiles
Production output Increase875,000 units (2011)
Services Automotive financial services
Money earned Increase220 billion (2010) ($13.5 billion USD)
Profit Increase30.75 billion (2010) ($1.9 billion USD)
Total assets Increase135.7 billion (2010) ($8.33 billion USD)
Employees >24,714 (2010)
Parent Volkswagen Group
Subsidiaries
Website www.skoda-auto.com

Škoda Auto (Czech pronunciation: [ˈʃkoda]  (Speaker Icon.svg listen)), better known as Škoda, is an automobile maker. It is based in the Czech Republic. Škoda was bought by the Volkswagen Group in 2000.[1] Its total sales reached 684,226 cars in 2009 and 85,000 for the month of March 2011.[2]

History[change | edit source]

Škoda Auto is one of the largest car makers in Central Europe. In 2010, 762,500 cars were sold worldwide. This was a record for the company.

Škoda Works was started as a firearms maker in 1859.

Škoda Auto goes back to the early 1890s as a company which started out making bicycles. In 1894, 26-year old Václav Klement (a bookseller in Mladá Boleslav) could not find any spare parts to fix his bicycle. Klement returned his bicycle to the makers, Seidel and Naumann, with a letter. It was written in Czech. The letter asked the company to repair the bicycle. When Klement got his reply, it was in German. It said (in English): "If you would like an answer to your inquiry, you should try writing in a language we can understand". Klement was very unhappy at this. Even though he did not have any experience, he decided to start a bicycle repair shop. He and Václav Laurin opened this in 1895 in Mladá Boleslav. Before working with Klement, Laurin was a bicycle maker in the town of Turnov. Turnov was near to Mladá Boleslav. In 1898, after moving to their newly-built factory, the pair bought a Werner "motorcyclist".[nb 1] It was made by French manufacturer Werner Brothers. Laurin & Klement's first motorcyclette was powered by an engine on the handlebars. It drove the front wheels. It was dangerous and unreliable. Laurin had an accident on it, and lost one of his front teeth. To design a safer motorcycle, the pair wrote to German specialist Robert Bosch for advice. The pair's new motorcycle went on sale in 1899.

In 1900, when the company had 32 people working for them, motorcycles began being exported. 150 machines were shipped to London. Shortly after, the press said that they were the makers of the first motorcycle.[3] The first model, Voiturette A, was a success. The company was set up both within Austria-Hungary and all over the world. By 1905 the company was making automobiles.

The back of a Škoda Popular Special on display at the Sportauto Museum, Lány, Kladno District, Czech Republic

After World War I, the Laurin-Klement company began making trucks. However, in 1924, the company looked for a partner after running into problems. It was bought by Škoda Works, a firearms maker. Most things made later were under the Škoda name. Škoda was successful again after an economic depression. The Popular in the late 1930s is an example of a popular car.

During World War II, when Nazi Germany had invaded Czechoslovakia, the Škoda works was turned into part of Reichswerke Hermann Göring. It helped the German war effort.

Car models[change | edit source]

This table shows the Škoda car models still being made.

Citigo Skoda Citigo 1.0 Ambition – Frontansicht, 17. März 2012, Düsseldorf.jpg October 2011
Fabia Skoda Fabia MTP07.jpg 2007 (2nd generation)
Rapid November 2011
Octavia 2009-2010 Škoda Octavia TSI station wagon 01.jpg 2004 (2nd generation)
Superb Skoda Superb II Combi 01.jpg 2008 (2nd generation)
Roomster Skoda Roomster 4354.JPG 2006
Yeti Skoda Yeti 000 since 2009 frontright 2010-02-21 A.jpg 2009

Concept cars[change | edit source]

  • MissionL (2011)
  • Vision D (2011)
  • Fabia Super (2007)
  • Joyster (2006)
  • Yeti II (2006)
  • Roomster (2003)
  • Tudor (2002)
  • Fabia Paris Edition (2002)
  • Ahoj (2002)
  • Felicia Golden Prague (1998)
  • 783 Favorit Coupé (1987)
  • Škoda 110 Super Sport Ferat (1971)
  • Škoda 1100 GT (1968)
  • Škoda F3 (1964)
  • Škoda 1100 Type 968 (1958)
  • Škoda 973 Babeta (1949)

Gallery[change | edit source]

Bibliography[change | edit source]

  • Margolius, Ivan and Meisl, Charles (1992). Škoda Laurin & Klement. London: Osprey. ISBN 1855322374.

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. More information about the Werner motor bicycles: Twycross, Tony (April 2005). "Auto Cycling, 1890s Style". The Moped Archive. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pattle/nacc/arc0556.htm. Retrieved 13 August 2008.

References[change | edit source]

  1. "VW Group brands". Autozeitung.de. http://www.autozeitung.de/auto-galerie/alle-vw-konzernmodelle-teil-3-seat-und-skoda. Retrieved 2011-08–28.
  2. Crawford, Anthony (2011-04-09). "Skoda – more popular than ever". Reviews. Car Advice. http://www.caradvice.com.au/114480/skoda-more-popular-than-ever/. Retrieved 2011-08–28.
  3. "Skoda Company History". carautoportal.com. http://www.carautoportal.com/skoda/. Retrieved 10 August 2009.

Other websites[change | edit source]