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Little Classics News: 10 November 2015

120 Years of Production for ŠKODA

Skoda 1000MBSKODA 1000MB

ŠKODA is notching up another incredible milestone in 2015 as it celebrates 120 years of production.

SKODA 1101 TudorSKODA 1101 Tudor

The ŠKODA story is a remarkable one. This classic brand has survived the turmoil of two world wars, and battled through some of the toughest economic conditions Europe has seen. Even when things got really tough and the rest of the world found it difficult to accept its vehicles, it still pushed on and turned things back to success.

1930 Skoda 4221930 Skoda 422

The ŠKODA story began in 1895, when cycling fanatics Václav Laurin (a mechanic) and Václav Klement (a bookseller) started designing and manufacturing bicycles under the name Slavia. The bicycles sold well, so Laurin and Klement decided to take the next step – and add motors.

1904 Laurin and Klement motorbike1904 Laurin and Klement motorbike

The pair started making motorbikes in 1899, and changed the name of their company to the Laurin & Klement Co. While making nearly 4,000 motorbikes of various types, the pair started experimenting with a new phenomenon – the motor car - which began to gradually replace motorbikes from 1905 on.

1905 Voiturette type A1905 Voiturette type A

Expansion led to a merger with Czech engineering firm Pizen Skodova and the formation of the ŠKODA brand as we know it today.

1911 Laurin Klement1911 Laurin & Klement

Despite the devastating impact of two world wars that twice wiped out the brand’s passenger car production and fundamentally changed the political and economic landscape of Czechoslovakia, ŠKODA never lost its passion for innovation and design.

1923 Laurin Klement 300 racing car1923 Laurin & Klement 300 racing car

Cars such as the 1934 Popular brought tubular frame technology to mass production between conflicts, while post-war models such as the 1101 and Octavia helped get the country back on to the road to prosperity.

1964 Skoda Octavia1964 Skoda Octavia

Even during the 1970s and 1980s when difficult trading conditions forced the brand to develop cars on limited budgets, ŠKODA never lost its fighting spirit.

1958 Skoda 1100 OHC Racer1958 Skoda 1100 OHC Racer

The Velvet Revolution of 1989 marked the start of a new era for both the Czech Republic and ŠKODA. To help the brand realise its ambitious plans for the future, ŠKODA sought a partner and in 1991 announced a merger with the Volkswagen Group. With financial security came a design and engineering renaissance that continues to this day.

SKODA Felicia CabrioletSKODA Felicia Cabriolet

Today – 110 years after the first Voiturette Type A was driven out of the Mláda Boleslav factory gates - ŠKODA is active in more than 100 international markets. In 2014, ŠKODA achieved worldwide sales of 1,037,200 vehicles – breaking the 1 million mark for the first time ever.



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