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Skoda

Skoda

Czech Rep. Czech Rep. (1895 - present)
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History

The origin of Skoda Auto goes back to 1895. Václav Laurin, a mechanic, and Václav Klement, book-seller, both shared a passion for bicycles. When Klement tried to get spare parts to fix is bicycle and wrote to the manufacturer in Czech, he got an unfawl reply asking him to write in a language they could understand. In that moment, the two Czechs founded Laurin & Klement and started to produce bicycles under the patriotic name: Slavia.

The founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement

The founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement

© photo courtesy of: Skoda

They experimented a little bit with motorcycles at the turn of the century, which enabled them to start exporting to England. This brought popularity to the company and they were said to be the makers of the first motorcycle by the press. But since 1905 onwards, they focused on making cars.

First Car

The first car from Laurin & KlementLaurin & KlementLaurin & KlementAustria, 1905 > 19283 models
3 photos
was the Voiturette AVoiturette ALaurin & Klement Voituret...Austria, 1905 > present1 photo
, which was an immediate success. This allowed the company to establish itself internationally.

After  World War I, the company began producing trucks, airplanes, busses, amongst others. In 1924, Laurin & Klement sought after a partner and the company was bought by Skoda Works, an arms manufacturer, also Czech company. From then on, cars and other vehicles were branded Skoda. After the depression, Skoda launched the Popular, proved worthy of the name becoming another hit for the company.

With World War II, Skoda was forced to work for the German Government and the production of civilian vehicles was limited. After the war, Skoda was separated from the parent company, becoming AZNP in 1946. During that time, it absorbed all the other companies and acquired the monopoly passenger cars.

Skoda maintain a good reputation un till the end of the 1960s. At that point, it had launched the Skoda 440 Spartak440Skoda 440Czech Rep., 1958 > present1 photo
, 445 OctaviaOctaviaSkoda OctaviaCzech Rep., 1959 > 19713 versions
2 photos
and Skoda 1000 MB1000 MB RallySkoda 1000 MB RallyCzech Rep., 1968 > present3 photos
that were considered good cars. Skoda popularity rose again with Skoda FavoritFavoritSkoda FavoritCzech Rep., 1987 > 19956 versions
8 photos
launched in 1987.

Modern Skoda

In 1990, Skoda paired up with the VolkswagenVolkswagenVolkswagenGermany, 1938 > present96 models
9611 photos
31 videos
Group, alongside AudiAudiAudiGermany, 1909 > present80 models
8092 photos
27 videos
and SeatSeatSeatSpain, 1950 > present28 models
2280 photos
4 videos
. Since then, Skoda has periodically been released new models that have done well. In 2006, it started to produce cars in China and in the second half on 2010, China became the second largest market for Skoda.
 



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Logo

Laurin & Klement (1905 - 1925)

The Laurin & Klement logo was on the first car made by the company, released in 1905. It features the initials of the founders of the company in the center. It is surrounded by laurels. It was used until 1925.

Skoda (1926 - 1933)

The company changes name to Skoda, but maintains the laurels sorrounding the logo.

Skoda (1926 - 1990)

This is the most famous Skoda logo, it was the one used for a longer period of time. It first appeared in 1926 and it was used untill 1990. There is no certain explination of this  "Winged arrrow", but it is still used today on some car components.

Skoda (1990 - 2011)

The black and green logo was actually first used in 1994. Black represents the 100-year mark and the green the environmental concerns of the company.

Skoda (2011 - )

 

This is the current Skoda logo. It maintains the same design cues as the previous one, but has a more polished look. The logo was presented at 2011 Geneva Motor Show

 



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Motorsport

Skoda started to participate in rallies in the 1960s. Skoda OctaviaOctaviaSkoda OctaviaCzech Rep., 1959 > 19713 versions
2 photos
and 1000B were the first cars to represent the make in motorsports. Skoda used slightly modified production cars to race, but there were exception. In the 1970s, it built the 130RS and in the mid-1980s, the 130LR.

Skoda Motorsports is now a division of Skoda Auto, but at the time, it was just a small department. But that didn’t stop them from achieving great things. The team was very successful, especially on the RAC Rally in the UK.

Skoda decided to participate at top level in the World Rally Championship in 1999 with the Skoda Octavia WRCOctavia WRCSkoda Octavia WRCCzech Rep., 2001 > present3 photos
. It quit this competition to join the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, a championship that has been dominating since then.
 



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