Škoda Auto


Škoda Auto

Infobox_Company
company_name = Škoda Auto
company_
company_type = Private subsidiary of Volkswagen Group
foundation = 1895 as Laurin & Klement
founder = Václav Laurin and
Václav Klement
location = flagicon|Czech Republic Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic
locations =
area_served = Global
(except North America)
key_people = Reinhard Jung
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Hans Dieter Pötsch
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
industry = Automotive industry
products = Automobiles
market c

revenue = profit 8.5 billion (2007)
operating_income =
net_income = 15.94 billion Koruna/$990 million (2008)
assets =
equity =
owner =
num_employees = 27,680 (2007)Cite web|url=http://business.maktoob.com/NewsDetails-20070218035755-Skoda_Auto_and_unions_agree_pay_and_conditions_deal.htm|title= Skoda Auto and unions agree pay and conditions deal |accessdate=2008-06-07|work=business.maktoob.com]
parent = Volkswagen Group
divisions =
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.skoda-auto.com Škoda-Auto.com]
footnotes =
intl = yes

Škoda Auto (pronunciation|Cs-Skoda.ogg) is an automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic. In 1991, it became a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

History

The origins of Škoda go back to the early 1890s where, like many long-established car manufacturers, the company started out with the manufacture of bicycles. It was 1894, and 26-year old Václav Klement, who was a bookseller by trade in Mladá Boleslav, in today's Czech Republic, which was then part of Austria-Hungary, was unable to obtain the right spare parts to repair his German bicycle. Klement returned his bicycle to the manufacturers, Seidel and Naumann, with a letter, in Czech, asking for them to carry out repairs, only to receive a reply, in German, stating: "If you would like an answer to your inquiry, you should try writing in a language we can understand". A disgusted Klement, despite not having any previous technical experience, then decided to start his own bicycle repair shop, which he and Václav Laurin opened in 1895 in Mladá Boleslav. Before going into business partnership with Klement, Laurin was an already established bicycle manufacturer from the nearby town of Turnov.

In 1898, after moving to their newly-built factory, the pair bought a Werner "motorcyclette" More information about the Werner motor bicycles: cite web
last = Twycross
first = Tony
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Auto Cycling, 1890's Style
work =
publisher = The Moped Archive
date = April 2005
url = http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pattle/nacc/arc0556.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-08-13
] , which was produced by French manufacturer Werner Brothers. Laurin & Klement's first motorcyclette (which was powered by an engine mounted on the handlebars driving the front wheels) proved dangerous and unreliable — an early incident on it cost Laurin a front tooth. To design a safer machine with its structure around the engine, the pair wrote to German ignition specialist Robert Bosch for advice on a different electromagnetic system. The pair's new Slavia motorcycle made its debut in 1899.In 1900, when the company had a workforce of 32, Slavia exports began, with 150 machines shipped to London for the Hewtson firm. Shortly afterwards, the press credited them as makers of the first motorcycle.Fact|date=March 2008

The first model, Voiturette A, was a success and the company was established both within Austria-Hungary and internationally. By 1905 cars were being produced by the firm. During the First World War Škoda was engaged in war production.

After WWI it began producing trucks, but in 1924, after running into problems and being hit by a fire, the company sought a partner. As a result it merged with Škoda Works, the biggest industrial enterprise in Czechoslovakia. Most later production was under the Škoda name. After a decline during the economic depression, Škoda was again successful with models such as the "Popular" in the late 1930s.

During the World War II Occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Škoda works was turned into part of "Hermann Göring Werke" serving the German World War II effort.

Post WWII

When, by July 1945, the Mladá Boleslav factory had been reconstructed, production of Škoda's first post-WWII car, the 1101 series began. It was essentially an updated version of the pre-WWII Škoda Popular. In the autumn of 1945, Škoda (along with all large manufacturers) became part of the planned economy, which meant it was separated from the parent Škoda company. In spite of unfavourable political conditions and losing contact with technical development in non communist countries, Škoda retained a good reputation until the 1960s, producing models such as the Škoda 440 Spartak, 445 Octavia, Felicia and Škoda 1000 MB. Škoda has always been known internationally for building very tough and reliable cars. [Carpages article : [http://www.carpages.co.uk/skoda/skoda_survives_stages_rally_24_09_02.asp most recent reference to tough, reliable Škoda] ]

In the late 1980s, Škoda (then named "Automobilové závody, národní podnik, Mladá Boleslav") was still manufacturing cars that conceptually dated back to the 1960s. Rear engined models such as the Škoda 105/120, Estelle and Rapid sold steadily and performed well against more modern makes in races such as the RAC Rally in the 1970s and 1980s. They won their class in the RAC rally for 17 years running. They were powered by a 130 bhp, 1289 cc engine. In spite of its dated image and being the subject of jokes, the Škoda remained a common sight on the roads of UK and Western Europe throughout the 1970s and 80s.

Sport versions were available for the Estelle, and earlier models, using "Rapid" as the version name. Soft-top versions were also available. The Rapid was once described as the 'poor man's Porsche' and had significant sales success in the UK during the 1980s. [BBC report : [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/654973.stm Škoda Rapid - the "poor man's Porsche"] ]

:"Of course, that the Škoda 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"." extract from BBC report on Škoda sales in 1980s.

The turning point came in 1987 with the Favorit model. The Favorit's appearance was designed by Italian design company Bertone. With some motor technology licensed from western Europe, but still using the Škoda designed 1289 cc engine, Škoda engineers succeeded in designing a car comparable to western production. The technological gap was still there, but began closing rapidly. The Favorits were very popular in Czechoslovakia, and other Eastern Block countries. They also sold fairly well in Western Europe, especially in the UK, being regarded as solid and reliable, as well as a good value. Their trim levels continued to improve and they were sold until the introduction of the Felicia in 1996.

ubsidiary of Volkswagen Group

The Velvet Revolution brought great changes to Czechoslovakia, and most industries were subject to privatisation. In the case of Škoda Automobile, the government brought in a strong foreign partner. Volkswagen was chosen in 1990 and in April, 1991, Škoda became the fourth brand of the Volkswagen Group.

VW was pitted against French car maker Renault, who lost because its strategic plan did not include producing high value models in the Czech factories: the Renault Twingo city car was set to be produced in the Škoda factories.

At the time the decision was made, privatization to a major German company was somewhat controversial. The subsequent fortunes of other Eastern-Bloc automobile manufacturers such as Lada-AutoVAZ , and of Škoda works itself, once "Škoda auto's" parent company, could be argued to suggest that this was not necessarily a poor decision.

Backed by VW expertise and investments the design — both style and engineering — has improved greatly. The 1994 model Felicia was still based on the floorpan of the Favorit, but quality improvements helped and in the Czech Republic the car was as popular as it was value for money. The subsequent models "Octavia" and "Fabia" finally made their way to the demanding European Union markets. They are built on common Volkswagen Group floorpans. The latest Octavia is based on Golf Mk5 floorpan, and Fabia is based on the A0 floorpan. This is interesting, as it came out a year before VW released the new Polo that was also based on it.

The perception of Škoda in Western Europe has changed completely. [Carpages, December 2002 : [http://www.carpages.co.uk/skoda/skoda_marketing_success_17_12_02.asp Škoda's marketing success] ] As technical development progressed and attractive new models were brought to market, Škoda's image was initially slow to improve. In the UK, a major turnabout was achieved with the ironic "It is a Škoda, honest" campaign, which was started in the early 2000s. In a 2003 advertisement on British television, a new employee on the production line is fitting Škoda badges on the car bonnets. When some attractive looking cars come along he stands back, not fitting the badge, since they look so good they "cannot be Škodas". [ Media article : [http://www.cim.co.uk/mediastore/Brand_eGuides/eGuide4.pdf see pages 23 and 24] ] This market campaign worked by confronting Škoda's image problem head-on — a tactic which marketing professionals regard as high risk. If the Fabia and Octavia had been anything less than excellent cars, the campaign might have backfired badly. By 2005, Škoda was selling over 30,000 cars a year in the UK, a market share of over 1%. For the first time in its UK history, a waiting list developed for deliveries by Škoda. Škoda owners in the UK have consistently ranked the brand at or near the top of the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey during the 2000s.

Škoda now has several manufacturing and assembly plants, including one in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Škoda also has an assembly plant in the city of Aurangabad, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra which was established in 2001 as Skoda Auto India Private Ltd.

Following a long history of class victories in lower levels of motorsport, Škoda became a participant in the FIA World Rally Championship with World Rally Car models of the Octavia, from 1999 and, from late 2003, the smaller Fabia, before finally officially withdrawing from the series at the end of 2005. The 2006 season saw Škoda represented by a private team. Notable drivers of the cars included 1991 Rally Catalunya winner, the German Armin Schwarz; eventual Ford works driver Mikko Hirvonen of Finland; the Belgian Francois Duval; France's first World Rally Champion in 1994, Didier Auriol; and late Scottish 1995 World title winner Colin McRae.

In 2006, Škoda presented its brand new model Roomster, which is a small MPV with a unique design, which reflects future trends. At the end of December 2006, Škoda also released the first official pictures of the [http://www.skoda-auto.com/global/model/newfabia/ new Fabia] , a model that will replace Fabia in 2007.

A new concept car was presented at the Paris Auto Show in September 2006. The concept was called Joyster, and is a three-door compact car intended especially for young people.

In 2005 the company produced 494,637 vehicles, and on 22 November 2006, produced the 500,000th vehicle of 2006, the first time in Škoda's long history that this target had been reached. [ [http://thearticlewriter.com/autowriter/skoda-tops-500000-model-mark/ "Skoda Tops 500,000 Model Mark" in "The Auto Writer", November 28, 2006] . Retrieved May 16, 2008.] By the end of 2006, over 550,000 vehicles had been produced.

Volkswagen AG's Australian arm, VGA (Volkswagen Group Australia), recently announced that they will be returning Škoda to the Australian car market in October, 2007. Škoda vehicles were last sold in Australia in 1983. Currently only the Octavia and Roomster are available in Australia, with the Fabia to join later on and the second generation Superb to join in 2009.

It is rumored that a version from the brazilian Volkswagen Gol NF will be a new base model for Škoda in Europe.

Models

Current models

*Fabia 2007 - (MK2)
*Octavia/Laura 2004 - (MK2)
*Roomster/Praktik 2006 -
*Superb 2008 -

Concept cars

* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/s2000/home.htm Fabia Super] (2007)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/joyster/joyster/homepage Joyster] (2006)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/yetiII/home.htm Yeti II] (2006)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/yeti/home.htm Yeti] (2005)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/roomster/home.htm Roomster Concept] (2003)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/tudor/hometudor.htm Tudor] (2002)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/fabiaparis/homefabia.htm Fabia Paris Edition] (2002)
* [http://www.skoda-auto.com/moss/concepts/ahoj/homeahoj.htm Ahoj] (2002)
*Felicia Golden Prague (1998)
*783 Favorit Coupé (1987)

Previous models

1900s

*Laurin & Klement A (1905-1907)
*Laurin & Klement B (1906-1908)
*Laurin & Klement C (1906-1908)
*Laurin & Klement D (1906-1907)
*Laurin & Klement E (1906-1909)
*Laurin & Klement B2 (1907-1908)
*Laurin & Klement C2 (1907-1908)
*Laurin & Klement F (1907-1909)
*Laurin & Klement FF (1907)
*Laurin & Klement FC (1907-1909)
*Laurin & Klement HO/ HL/HLb (1907-1913)
*Laurin & Klement BS (1908-1909)
*Laurin & Klement FCS (1908-1909)
*Laurin & Klement G (1908-1911)
*Laurin & Klement DO/DL (1909-1912)
*Laurin & Klement FDO/FDL (1909-1915)
*Laurin & Klement EN (1909-1910)
*Laurin & Klement FN/GDV/RC (1909-1913)
*Laurin & Klement FCR (1909)
*Laurin & Klement L/LO (1909-1911)

1910s

*Laurin & Klement ENS (1910-1911)
*Laurin & Klement K/Kb/LOKb (1911-1915)
*Laurin & Klement LK (1911-1912)
*Laurin & Klement S/Sa (1911-1916)
*Laurin & Klement DN (1912-1915)
*Laurin & Klement RK (1912-1916)
*Laurin & Klement Sb/Sc (1912-1915)
*Laurin & Klement M/Mb/MO (1913-1915)
*Laurin & Klement MK/400 (1913-1924)
*Laurin & Klement O/OK (1913-1916)
*Laurin & Klement Sd/Se/Sg/Sk (1913-1917)
*Laurin & Klement Ms (1914-1920)
*Laurin & Klement Sh/Sk (1914-1917)
*Laurin & Klement T/Ta (1914-1921)
*Laurin & Klement Si/Sl/Sm/So/200/205 (1916-1924)
*Laurin & Klement Md/Me/Mf/Mg/Mh/Mi/Ml/300/305 (1917-1923)

1920s

*Laurin & Klement MS/540/545 (1920-1923)
*Laurin & Klement – Škoda 545 (1924-1927)
*Škoda 422 (1929)

1930s

*Škoda 633 (1931)
*Škoda Popular (1934)
*Škoda Rapid (1934)

1940s

*Škoda Tudor (1946-1952)
*Škoda Superb 4000

1950s

*Škoda 1200 (1952-1956)
*Škoda 440/445 (1955-1959)
*Škoda 1200|Škoda 1201 (1956-1961)
*Škoda Octavia (1959-1964)
* Skoda Felicia (1959-1964) Convertible

1960s

*Škoda Octavia Combi (1961-1971)
*Škoda 1202 Combi (1961-1973)
*Skoda Felicia convertible (1959-1964)
*Škoda MB1000/1100 (1964-1969)
*Škoda 1203 (1967-1981)
*Škoda Winnetou (only prototype in 1968)
*Škoda 100/110 (1969-1977)

1970s

*Škoda 110R Coupé (1970-1980)
*Škoda 1100 GT (1970)
*Škoda Super Sport 'Ferat Vampir RSR' (1971)
*Škoda 120S Rallye (1971-1974)
*Škoda 105/120/125 (1976-1990)
*Škoda 130 RS (1977-1978)

1980s

*Škoda Garde (1981-1984)
*Škoda 130/135/136 (1984-1990)
*Škoda Rapid (1984-1990)
*Škoda Favorit (1987-1995)

1990s

*Škoda Felicia (1994-2001)
*Škoda Octavia - first generation - (1996-2004)
*Škoda Fabia - first generation - (1999-2007)
*Škoda Superb - first generation - (2002-2008)

Image gallery




ee also

* Škoda Works
* List of automobile manufacturers

Bibliography

*cite book | author=Margolius, Ivan and Meisl, Charles | title=Škoda Laurin & Klement | location=London | publisher=Osprey | year=1992 | id=ISBN 1855322374

Notes

References

* [http://www.topgear.com/content/carsurvey/2006/features/08/2.html Škoda #1 Manufacturer in Top Gear Survey 2006]
* [http://www.whatcar.com/news-special-report.aspx?NA=214562&EL=3121182 Škoda Octavia - 'Family Cars' Class Winner in WhatCar's JD Power Survey 2005]
* [http://www.whatcar.com/news-special-report.aspx?NA=214562&EL=3121185 Škoda - Silver Award in WhatCar's JD Power Survey 2005]
* [http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/autoexpressnews/207636/driver_power_2007.html Škoda Octavia - Auto Express Driver Power 2007 Winner]

External links

* [http://www.skoda-auto.com Skoda-Auto.com] corporate website
* [http://www.skoda-auto.co.in/ Skoda Auto India]


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