Skoda is celebrating an incredible milestone in 2015 as it celebrates 120 years of production. Founded by Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, Skoda has developed from a small-scale bicycle manufacturer to a global brand active in more than 100 international markets.
Despite a good growth, Skoda continues to display the values that first inspired Laurin and Klement to start the company. Engineering excellence, innovation, and unique style remain important to Skoda in 2015 as it did back in 1895.
The Skoda story is quite interesting — the brand has survived two world wars, and battled through some of the toughest economic conditions Europe has seen.
The Skoda story began in 1895, when Václav Laurin, a mechanic and Václav Klement, a bookseller started designing and manufacturing bicycles under the name Slavia. The bicycles sold well, so two decided to take the next step to add motors.
The duo started making motorcycles in 1899, and changed the name of their company to Laurin & Klement Co, and made nearly 4,000 motorcycles of various types. The next quest was to make cars, which gradually replaced motorcycles from 1905 onwards.
Making cars led to a merger with Czech engineering firm called Pizen Skodova and thus, the name Skoda was formed as we know it today. To help the brand realise its plans for the future, Skoda sought a partner and in 1991, announced a merger with the Volkswagen Group.
This secured the company financially and thanks to models such as the 1996 model Octavia and the 2000 model Fabia, Skoda re-established itself as a major brand in the car market. New models like the Yeti and Superb further reinforced ŠKODA' as a brand.
Today, Skoda is active in more than 100 international markets and has seven models on offer.