Known more commonly as Skoda, the Skoda auto is a manufacturer of automobile which is a Czech Republic based automotive company. In the year 2000 of the Volkswagen Group the Skoda became as a wholly owned subsidiary, positioned to the group as an entry brand. In the 2012 it touched the mark of 939200 cars in total sales at global market.
In the year 1859 as a manufacturer of arms the establishments of Skoda Works began and among the five oldest companies the Skoda Auto is one, that begun cars production and together with Daimler, Tatra, Peugeot and Opel it has got unbroken history.
What became to the origins of Skoda Auto to go back to the 1890s early where, like long established many manufacturers of car, a company started bicycles manufacturing. It was the Vaclav Klement a 26 years old in the year 1894, in Mlada Boleslav he was working as a bookseller, in Czech Republic’s today, which was then Hungary-Austria part, was unable to repair his German company bicycle due to unavailability of spare parts. With a letter in Czech to the manufacturers, Naumann and Seidel Klement returned back his bicycle, asking them for carrying out repairs, and to receive only a reply in German, stating - if you would like an answer to your inquiry, you should try writing in a language we can understand. In the year 1895, a disgusted Klement decided to start a repair shop for bicycle without having any technical experience and came successful by opening the shop with the person Vaclav Laurin. In the nearby Turnov town, Laurin was a very well established bicycle manufacturer, before going with Klement into business partnership. After moving to their built new bicycle factory in the year 1898, Werner Motorcyclist was bought by this pair, which was manufactured and produced by French’s Werner brothers. The first motorcyclette of Klement and Laurin, which was powered by the front wheel driving engine motor, mounted on handlebars, proved unreliable and dangerous – an early incident which cost a front tooth for Laurin. With its structure in order to design a safer machine around the engine, to the ignition specialist of Germany Robert Bosch the pair wrote a letter for seeking an advice related to different electromagnetic system. The new Slavia motorcycle of pairs made debut in the year 1899.
In the year 1990, the Slavia Company’s exports began with a work force of 32 men and for the firm of Hewtson, 150 machines were shipped to London. Shortly afterwards, as the manufacturers of first motorcycle they were credited by the press. The Voiturette A, being a first model had a huge success and within Hungary-Austria and internationally, the company was established well then. The firm started automobiles manufacturing in the year 1905.
The Klement-Laurin company, after the world war, began producing the trucks, but after hit by a fire accident and running into some problems in 1924, the company sought for a partner and as a result the manufacturer of arms in Czechoslovakia the “Skoda Works” which had become biggest enterprise in industrial sector and a multi sector concern, acquired the twins company. Later most the production was under the name of Skoda. During the decline period of the economic depression, in the 1930s late with the model Popular, Skoda was successful again.
During the Occupation of Czechoslovakia World War II, part of Reichswerke Hermann Goring of Skoda Works was turned into the effort of German World War II.
Post World War II
The factory Mlada Boleslav had been reconstructed by 1945s July, Skoda’s first Production car after post World War II, the Series 1101 began. It was an updated and an essential version of the Skoda Popular of Pre World War II. In the autumn 1945, along with other manufacturers, the Skoda became planned economy’s part, which meant from the parent company Skoda it was separated. In spite of losing contracts in non communist countries company with technical development and unfavorable conditions of political, until the year 1960s Skoda retained a very good reputation, manufacturing models such as 445 Octavia, Skoda 440 Spartak, Skoda 1000 MB and Felicia.
In the 1980s late, the 1960s dated back conceptually cars were still manufactured by Skoda. Skoda Rapid, Skoda Estelle and Skoda 105/120 which were some rear engine models performed in races like RAC Rally against more modern cars and sold well in the 1970 and 1980s. For the 17 running years, they won RAC class rallies. The engine is powered by 78.7 cu in (1289 cubic centimeters) which churns out 97 Kw power (130 hp). In spite of being subjected to negative jokes and its dated images on the roads of Western Europe and UK, the Skoda remained with one common sight throughout the 1970 and 1980s.
By using Rapid version’s name, earlier and Estelle model’s sports versions were produced. They were also available in the soft top versions. Once upon a time as a poor man’s Porsche, the Rapid was described and during the 1980s in the UK it had a significant success. According to Skoda’s sales in a BBC report in 1980s it stated that, “of course, that the Skoda became such a figure of fun was in part due to its ubiquity on Britain’s roads. The company must have been doing something right”.
The model “Favorit” was introduced in the year 1987, and which was a front wheel drive, one of triumvirate western influenced compact hatchbacks from the three main Eastern Bloc’s who were around that time’s manufacturers such as Zastava’s Yugo Sana and VAZ’s Lada Samara. The design of Favorite’s appearance was done by Bertone Company, which is an Italian based design company. From Western Europe, the company took some licenses regarding motor technology, but it still uses a 1289 cc Skoda designed engine; the engineers of Skoda designed a car comparable to productions of western. The gap in the technology was still there, but it began to rapid closing. In other countries of Eastern Bloc and in Czechoslovakia, the model Favorit was most popular. Especially in Denmark and UK, the Favorit was sold fairly well, they were regarded as reliable and solid, also had a great value. The trim levels of Favorit’s were continued to improve, and until 1994 before the Felicia’s introduction they were sold in the market.
Volkswagen Group Subsidiary
Some great changes were brought to Czechoslovakia with the Velvet Revolution and the Communism’s fall, and many industries were subjected to privatisation. In the Skoda automobile case, the authorities of the state brought a very strong partner from foreign. On the month of December 9th in the year 1990, the government of Czech chosen the Volkswagen Group and as a result in 1991’s March 28th, with Volkswagen Group a joint venture agreement partnership took place, which marked 30% share transfer in 1991’s April 16th to the Volkswagen Group. The Skoda became the German group’s fourth brand in the years following, as the Volkswagen Group in 1994’s December 19th raised its first equity share, to 60.3%, followed in 1995’s December 11th, to 70%.
For Skoda in the competition, against the car maker from French’s Renault the Volkswagen was pitted, because of its strategic plans which were not matching with high value producing models in the factories of Czech, which resulted a loss for them. The Renault proposed to the Renault Twingo City Car’s manufactures in the factories of Skoda.
A decision was made at that time; to a German major company privatisation was somewhat more controversial. It could be however argued that the other Eastern Bloc manufacturers of automobile’s such as Skoda Work itself, Auto VAZ and Lada’s fortunes suggested that the involvement of Volkswagen Company was not necessarily a poor judgement.
The Volkswagen Group investment and expertise backed in both engineering and style-design, which resulted in improving this car to a greater advanced level in order to compete with others. The 1994’s Felicia model was effectively a Favorit’s reskin, but it helped in improvements of quality, and the car became popular and got good value for its quality and performance in the Czech Republic. Ferdinand Piech, who is a chairman of Volkswagen AG choose personally Dirk van Braeckel as design head, and the subsequent Fabia and Octavia models marched their way to the demanding markets of European Union. Based on the floorplans of Volkswagen Group they were built. Based on the floorplan of A0 the Fabia is built, although a year before the Volkswagen’s Polo release, the Fabia made its debut in the international markets, and it is also based on same floorplan.
Since the Volkswagen’s takeover, the Skoda’s perception has changed completely in Western Europe, in stark comparison to the cars reputation throughout 1980s, described often as the automotive world’s laughing stock. As the development in technical progressed and new attractive models were brought to market, the image of Skoda was initially a bit slower in improving. A major turnabout in the UK was achieved with the ironic campaign called “it is a Skoda, honest”, which was started in the 2000s early. In a 2003 British television advertisement, on the production line a new employee is fitting badges of Skoda on the bonnets of car. He stands back when some looking attractive cars come by not fitting the Skoda’s badge, they cannot be Skodas since they look very good. The campaign of market worked confronting image of Skoda problem head on – which is a marketing professional’s tactic that is regarded as high risk. The tour guides in Bratislava were common making jokes on Skoda, before this advertisement campaign, saying “how do you double the value of Skoda? Fill Up the petrol tank!” With a market share of 1% in the UK, by the end of 2005 the Skoda cars were selling over to 30000 a year. In the history of UK for the first time, for the Skoda deliveries a waiting list was developed. In the UK the owners of the Skoda have consistently made the brand near or at top of the customer satisfaction according to survey of J.D. Power since the 2000s.
The Skoda has several assembly and manufacturing plants as of 2010, including the one in Herzegovina, Bosnia and Sarajevo. In the Aurangabad city, the Skoda has also an assembly plant which is in the Maharashtra, which is a western Indian state, established as Skoda India private limited in the year 2001.
The Skoda presented its brand new small MPV model called Roomster in the year 2006, with a unique design, which reflects trends of future. At the 2006’s December’s end, the all new Fabia’s first official pictures were released by Skoda, which is one model which would replace 2007’s Fabia.
The face lifted new headlights Octavia’s first official pictures were released by Skoda later in 2008, along with new bumper and front grille, and a restyled slightly changed interior and rear. New selections of engines were featured in the revised version of car including new common diesel rail 1.4 liters TFSI engines.
In 2006’s September’s Paris Auto Show, a new concept car was launched. The 3 door compact concept car targeted at attracting young drivers, which was named as Skoda Joyster.
In the year 2005, 494637 vehicles were produced by the Skoda Company, and 500000th vehicle was produced in the 2006’s November month, in the long history of Skoda this was for the first time that this figure had been reached. Over 550000 vehicles were produced by the 2006’s end.
The Australian arm of Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Group Australia, been the last sold Skoda in the year 1983 in Australia, announced they would be returning to car market in Australia in 2007’s October. The Octavia, Fabia, Superb, Yeti and Roomster are available as of 2012 in Australia.
In China the Skoda started out its production in the year 2006. The 3 models such as Fabia, Superb and Octavia’s sales doubled from 2008 sales in china in 2009, reaching to vehicles number of 123000. In the year 2011, the Shanghai Volkswagen had plans of building the Yeti SUV. China became the largest market for Skoda, in the 2010’s second half.
The Skoda Superb had been named as the luxury car of the year by top gear magazine in the year 2009 and family car of the year for Skoda Yeti.
The redesigned new logo of Skoda was revealed on the month of March 2011.
A record 875000 number of cars were sold by Skoda in the year 2011, and it stated that by 2018 it is aimed to double the sales, as part of becoming in the world as largest makers in car, which is a plan of Volkswagen Group.
Skoda Felicia / Skoda Favorit: Around 172000 vehicles were sold in the year 1991, 210000 vehicles in 1995, 288458 vehicles in 1997, 261127 vehicles in 1998, 241256 vehicles in 1999, 148028 vehicles in 2000 and 44963 vehicles in 2001.
Skoda Octavia: Around 47876 vehicles were sold in the year 1997, 102373 vehicles in 1998, 143251 vehicles in 1999, 158503 vehicles in 2000, 164134 vehicles in 2001, 164017 vehicles in 2002, 165635 vehicles in 2003, 181683 vehicles in 2004, 233322 vehicles in 2005, 270274 vehicles in 2006, 309951 vehicles in 2007, 344857 vehicles in 2008, 317335 vehicles in 2009, 349746 vehicles in 2010, 387200 vehicles in 2011 and 409360 vehicles sales in 2012.
Skoda Fabia: Around 823 vehicles were sold in the year 1999, 128872 vehicles in 2000, 250978 vehicles in 2001, 264641 vehicles in 2002, 260988 vehicles in 2003, 247600 vehicles in 2004, 236698 vehicles in 2005, 243982 vehicles in 2006, 232890 vehicles in 2007, 246561 vehicles in 2008, 264173 vehicles in 2009, 229045 vehicles in 2010, 266800 vehicles in 2011 and 255025 vehicles in 2012 were sold.
Skoda Superb: Around 177 vehicles were sold in the year 2001, 16867 vehicles in 2002, 23135 vehicles in 2003, 22392 vehicles in 2004, 22091 vehicles in 2005, 20989 vehicles in 2006, 20530 vehicles in 2007, 25645 vehicles in 2008, 44548 vehicles in 2009, 98873 vehicles in 2010, 116700 vehicles in 2011 and 106847 vehicles in 2012 were sold.
Skoda Roomster: Around 14422 vehicles were sold in the year 2006, 66661 vehicles in 2007, 57467 vehicles in 2008, 47152 vehicles in 2009, 32332 vehicles in 2010, 36000 vehicles in 2011 and 39249 vehicles in 2012 were sold.
Skoda Yeti: Around 11018 vehicles were sold in the year 2009, 56604 vehicles in 2010, 70300 vehicles in 2011 and 90952 vehicles in 2012 were sold.
Skoda Rapid: Around 1700 vehicles were sold in the year 2011 and 9292 vehicles in 2012 were sold.
Skoda Citigo: Around 509 vehicles were sold in the year 2011 and 36687 vehicles in 2012 were sold.
The year total sales of all models in 1991 is 172000 vehicles, 210000 vehicles in 1995, 261000 vehicles in 1996, 336334 vehicles in 1997, 363500 vehicles in 1998, 385330 vehicles in 1999, 435403 vehicles in 2000, 460252 vehicles in 2001, 445525 vehicles in 2002, 449758 vehicles in 2003, 451675 vehicles in 2004, 492111 vehicles in 2005, 549667 vehicles in 2006, 630032 vehicles in 2007, 674530 vehicles in 2008, 684226 vehicles in 2009, 762600 vehicles in 2010, 879200 vehicles in 2011 and a total of 949412 vehicles in the year 2012 were sold.
World rally championship
Following a very long class victories history in motorsport’s lower level, in the 1999 season’s FIA World Rally Championship the Skoda became participant with Skoda Octavia which is a model of World Rally Car. At the Safari Rally in the year 2001 with the WRC’s Octavia, it won third place by Armin Schwarz, which is the best result for Skoda in WRC. The smaller Skoda Fabia replaced the Skoda Octavia from the 2003’s mid. Further to develop the car, Skoda used season’s 2004 car, but much success didn’t achieved in the following next season. The 1995’s world championship, Colin Mcrae before retiring was running second at the ending season Rally Australia. From the series the Skoda withdrew and season 2006 saw semi privateer Skoda Red Bull team representing the Skoda. At the Rally Catalunya Jan Kopecky drove to fifth place in the Fabia WRC car, and the Fabia achieved in the late 2007’s Ralley Deutschland with a fifth place in the result, again in Kopecky’s hands. Driver Francois Duval of Citroen and former works Ford also drove for a privateer team called First Motorsport in 2006 in a WRC Fabia car, achieving in Rally Catalunya with a sixth place.
Into the international rally challenge the Skoda entered in the year 2009 using Fabia S2000 version for the first time, winning 3 rallies and in both manufacturers and driver championship it finished second. Winning both driver and manufacturers championship for “Juho Hanninen” a total of 7 events at IRC were won by Skoda in the year 2010. In several championships including Rene Georges, Rafa, Barwa and Red Bull in the 2010’s super 2000 world rally championship, many privateers had raced this car.
A special Skoda Octavia vRS on the month of August in 2011, in American Bonneville hits a world record and world’s fastest car with upto two liters engine, hitting 365.43 km/ph top notching speed. The Skoda Superb is the Skoda’s current fastest serial car with an acceleration being from standstill to 100 km/ph i.e. zero to 62 mph in just 6.5 seconds of time and 250 km/ph of top speed.
British touring car championship
Matt Hamilton in July 2011 announced that to the BTCC which is going to be held in 2012, he would be making his return, piloting Skoda Octavia vRS which was run by his former TH Motorsport team. The car will run to full Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) spec.
The current models such as Skoda Citigo which was launched in the year 2011, Skoda Fabia II in 2007, Skoda Rapid in 2011 in India, Skoda Rapid in international in 2012, Skoda Octavia III in 2013, Skoda Superb II in 2008, Skoda Roomster in 2006, Skoda Praktik in 2006 and Skoda Yeti which was unveiled in the year 2009.
Laurin & Klement A which was unveiled in the year 1905 and ended its production by 1907, Laurin & Klement B in during 1906 to 1908, Laurin & Klement C between 1906 to 1908, Laurin & Klement D between 1906 to 1907, Laurin & Klement E during 1906 to 1909, Laurin & Klement B2 during 1907 to 1908, Laurin & Klement C2 during 1907 to 1908, Laurin & Klement F during 1907 to 1909, Laurin & Klement FF in 1907, Laurin & Klement FC during 1907 to 1909, Laurin & Klement HL/HO/HLb during 1907 to 1913, Laurin & Klement BS during 1908 to 1909, Laurin & Klement FCS during 1908 to 1909, Laurin & Klement G during 1908 to 1911, Laurin & Klement DL/DO during 1909 to 1912, Laurin & Klement FDL/FDO during 1909 to 1915, Laurin & Klement EN during 1909 to 1910, Laurin & Klement DGV/FN/RC during 19009 to 1913, Laurin & Klement FCR during 1909 and Laurin & Klement LO/L during the year 1909 to 1911.
Laurin & Klement ENS which was unveiled in the year 1910 and ended its production by 1911, Laurin & Klement Kb/K/LOKb during 1911 to 1915, Laurin & Klement LK during 1911 to 1912, Laurin & Klement Sa/S during 1912 to 1915, Laurin & Klement DN during 1912 to 1916, Laurin & Klement RK during 1912 to 1916, Laurin & Klement Sc/Sb during 1912 to 1915, Laurin & Klement Mb/Mo/M during 1913 to 1915, Laurin & Klement 400/MK during 1913 to 1916, Laurin & Klement OK/O during 1913 to 1916, Laurin & Klement Se/Sd/Sk/Sg during 1913 to 1917, Laurin & Klement Ms during 1914 to 1920, Laurin & Klement Sk/Sh during 1914 to 1917, Laurin & Klement Ta/T during 1914 to 1921, Laurin & Klement Sm/Sl/Si/So/205/200 during 1916 to 1924 and Laurin & Klement Me/Md/Mg/Mf/Ml/Mi/Mh/305/300 during 1917 to 1923.
Laurin & Klement MS/545/540 was unveiled in the year 1920 and ended its production in 1923, Laurin & Klement Skoda 545 during 1924 to 1927, Skoda 422 during 1929 to 1932 and Skoda 430 during 1929 to 1936.
Skoda 633 was launched in 1931 and came to an end by 1934, Skoda during 1932 to 1935, Skoda 420 Rapid/Popular/Standard during 1933 to 1938, Skoda Rapid during 1935 to 1947, Skoda Favorit during 1936 to 1941 and Skoda Superb during 1934 to 1943.
Skoda Superb OHV production started in 1946 and came to end by 1949, Skoda 1101 Tudor during 1946 to 1949, Skoda 1102 during 1948 to 1952 and Skoda VOS during 1949 to 1952.
Skoda 1200 unveiled in 1952 and production came to end by 1955, Skoda 445/440/450 during 1955 to 1959, Skoda 1201 during 1959 to 1964, Skoda Felicia during 1959 to 1964 and Skoda Octavia during 1959 to 1964.
Skoda 1202 production started in 1961 and came to an end in 1973, Skoda Octavia Combi during 1964 to 1971, Skoda 100 MB during 1964 to 1969, Skoda 1203 during 1968 to 1999 and Skoda 110/100 during 1069 to 1977.
Skoda 11o R production started in 1970 and came to an end in 1980 and Skoda 120/105/125 during 1976 to 1990.
Skoda Garde unveiled in 1981 and ended by 1984, Skoda 135/130/136 during 1984 to 1990, Skoda Rapid 1984 during 1984 to 1990 and Skoda Forman/Pick up/ Favorit during 1987 to 1995.
Skoda Felicia launched in 1994 ended by 2001, Skoda Octavia Ist generation during 1996 to 2004 and Tour during 2004 to 2010 and Skoda Fabia Ist generation during 1999 to 2007.
Skoda Superb first generation was produced in 2001 and ended in 2008 and Skoda Octavia second generation during 2004 to 2013.
Skoda’s concept cars are such as 2011’s Mission L, 2011’s Vision D, 2007’s Fabia Super, 2006’s Joyster, 2006’s Yeti II, 2003’s Roomster, 2002’s Tudor, 2002’s Fabia Paris Edition, 2002’s Ahoj, 1998’s Felicia Golden Prague, 1987’s 783 Favorit Coupe, 1971’s Skoda 110 Super Sport Ferat, 1968’s Skoda 1100 GT, 1967 to 1972’s Skoda 720, 1964’s Skoda F3, 1958’s Skoda 1100 Type 968 and 1949’s Skoda 973 Babeta.
For details, visit Skoda's official website.