A brief history of Skoda:
1895: Established as Laurin and Klement, the company starts as a bicycle manufacturer. Motorcycle manufacturing began in 1899.
1905: The first car, called a Voiturette A, is produced, and grew quickly to success.
1920s: Truck production begins after WWI. Laurin and Klement merge into Skoda Works in 1924, then the biggest industrial enterprise in Austria/Hungary and later Czechoslovakia. Skoda's new model, the Popular, lives up to its name after the economic depression.
WWII: During the WWII German Occupation of Czechoslovakia Skoda works becomes part of Hermann Göring Werke serving the German war effort.
1950-70s: Despite lost contact with technical development in non-communist countries after WWII, Skoda develops an international reputation for building extremely robust and reliable cars like the 440 Spartak, the 445 Octavia, the Felicia and the 1000 MB. Successful rally competition with rear engined models like the Estelle and Rapid is enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s.
1980s: The year 1987 marked a technological turning point for Skoda, marked by the hugely successful Favorit. Designed by leading Italian design house, Bertone, it became a huge success, and the technology gap of the past began quickly to close.
1990s: The Velvet Revolution, which in 1989 ends more than four decades of communist rule in Czechoslovakia, delivers profound change to the politics and economy, and many industries are subject to privatisation. In April 1991 Skoda begins a joint-venture partnership with Volkswagen, which takes a 30 per cent share in the company. That equity grows to 60.3 per cent on 19 December 1995, then 70 per cent on 11 December 1995, and finally 100 per cent on 30 May 2000, when Skoda becomes a wholly owned Volkswagen subsidiary.
2000s: Skoda undergoes a rapid technological and image based transformation to become a premium European brand with excellent underlying price for value economics for customers. As core models Fabia and second generation Octavia evolve, the company draws from its core engineering strengths to offer top-quality design with a human touch. Skoda quickly becomes recognised as a vehicle manufacturer offering attractive, practical solutions to everyday issues, living up to its maxim, 'Simply Clever'. Sales exceed half a million units in 2006, and the brand has a presence in over 90 countries. Production will exceed 600,000 in 2007.
Things you didn't know about Skoda"
_ Skoda Auto is one of the world's few car manufacturers to boast a history of continuous car production stretching back for more than one century. The company's first car was built in 1905, at the approximate dawn of the automotive era. As such, Skoda is one of the world's oldest automotive brands.
Skoda Auto is the Czech Republic's largest corporation, and its biggest exporter and employer. It is also widely acknowledged as the country's most admired corporation and Employer of the year, 2006.
Skoda is wholly owned by the Volkswagen Group in Germany. Volkswagen Group's association with Skoda began in 1991, when the company took a 30 percent equity position in Skoda and began a joint venture partnership aimed at satisfying the growing demand for cars in central and eastern Europe.
Skoda and began a joint venture partnership aimed at satisfying the growing demand for cars in central and eastern Europe.
Skoda is the Czech Republic's largest exporter. Skoda's export production makes up an incredible 7.7 percent of total Czech Republic exports, and 78 percent of that export production is sold within the European Union.
Volkswagen grew its equity in Skoda progressively, acquiring a 60.3 percent share in 1994 and increasing that to 70 percent in 1995. Skoda became a Volkswagen subsidiary more than eight years ago, on 30 May 2000, when Volkswagen took up the remaining 30 percent share of the company's equity, then owning it outright.
Skoda is also a key component supplier to other Volks-wagen Group companies. In 2006, Skoda produced 282,564 three-cylinder 1.2-litre engines, more than 60 percent of which were supplied to other Volks-wagen companies. It also provided almost 45 percent of the MQ 200 gearbox's annual production volume of 457,314 units to Volkswagen companies.
Skoda is one of the oldest automotive brands, having been in continuous production for more than 100 years, since 1905. Today the company manufactures more than half a million vehicles annually, and is the Czech Republic's largest corporation, biggest employer and most prolific exporter, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG. Skoda competes in the global marketplace with a product portfolio composed of four models - the Fabia, Octavia, Superb and Roomster. Initially, Skoda will offer two of those Down Under - the mid-sized Octavia, which boasted engine and equipment upgrades in 2006 and is the company's top seller, and the funky, ultra practical Roomster, which first went on sale internationally from June last year.