Insults, are sometimes blessing in disguise, as we Lamborghini, the fastest Supercar manufacturer came into manufacturing Cars after Ferrari insulted its CEO. Same is the reason for the origin of Skoda Auto company, which is nowdays known as Skoda. Back in 1885, Vaclav Klement was insulted, by a Bicycle manufacturer from Germany. This insult lead him to start manufacturing his own bicycles, along with Vaclav Laurin in Czech. In 1899 the company started manufacturing the Slavia Motorcycle with the help of German ignition specialist Robert Bosch under the name of ‘Laurin and Klement’ . With the beginning of the 19th century, the company introduced its first Car named as L&K Voiturette A. They started to export vehicles across the world. And the company became a renowned brand in the automotive industry.
L&K Voiturette A.
In 1925 Laurin and Klement, merged with Skoda, which was that time too, largest arm manufacturer and had been supplying all things war related to Governments since the mid-19th century. After the Merge the company was called as ‘’Laurin and Klement - Skoda’. Later the name was changed to Skoda.
In 1938, Skoda launched a car with most radical designed car of that time, and it was called as Skoda Popular. The Popular was proved to be one of the most successful vehicle produced by Skoda. It proved a landmark in the history of Skoda Company. After the 2nd World War Skoda produced Skoda Felicia convertible which was also a milestone in the Companies history. Felicia was one of the most remarkable vehicle produced by Skoda. Felicia and Octavia were dramatically successful and the factory had problems keeping up with demand primiraily because of the old fashioned techniques of production. As the whole world was producing Rear engine layout Car, so to compete, Skoda launched 1000 MB, which was better equipped than a Ford Cortina.
In 1971 Skoda tried their hands at making a serious sports car. The 110 Super Sport was a prototype of something that definitely wasn’t in Moscows plan to supply Bosh to the masses. But under the Knight Rider look was a 110R with a 1.1L engine in the back, and likely it would take about as long to get to 60. Skoda only made one of these initially in white colour and was painted black in the 1980s.
Not all Skodas were slow. Since the 1960s, Skoda had been entering their cars in rallies to help sell them abroad, and to show that Czechoslovakia could take on the world and win. And win they did, That Rear Engine Layout and light construction helped take the under-1300 cc trophy in the RAC Rally not once, or twice, but 17 times, in 17 straight years! They did this with a specially modified version of 110R with 1.8L and 2.0L engines, and the Car was aptly called the ‘Grenade’.
By the late 80s Skoda’s, Lada’s and Yugo’s were the cheapest Cars in the UK, but it allowed some who could never afford a new car to own one. In the late 1980’s when the Eastern bloc of soviet controlled countries gained independence, Czechoslovakia’s peaceful Velvet Revolution ended in victory. The country was penniless and with no money to invest in a car industry that had been left out to dry for years. This is where Volkswagen won the battle of gaining partnership with Czech government to help keep the factory alive in Czech. VW was pumping money into the company, building a new factory with all the latest technology to produce high quality Cars.
In 1994, Skoda cars had ABS, air conditioning, a drivers airbag, and a mixture of Skoda and VW engines. The improvement in quality showed in reviews and long term tests, and sales grew across Europe. And this is how VW started to position Skoda brand – good value cars that had rocksolid VW quality. The first Car based Volkswagen underpinnings was the 1996 Skoda Ocatvia. Next up came the Fabia in 1999, it was the successor t the Felicia. The Skoda Superb was built in the New Czech plant in Kavasiny. The Roomster and Yeti would arrive in 2006 and 2009 as the compact Suvs. The Roomster was in 2016 was updated as Skoda Kodaiq crossover, maintaining its Skoda flagship model with luxurious comfortable seating for 7. Skoda felt a need for car to fit in between the Fabia and Octavia, hence they introduced Skoda Rapid in 2012.
The company earned a great deal of market in the Indian market. So, to ramp up the production and lower the cost, Skoda set up a plant in Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
The company announced to release all electric cars by 2019. The updated strategy now has the company producing 5 electric models, by 2025 following parent company Volkswagen’s strategy to all-electric cars rapidly.