Commonly referred to as Skoda Auto, is an automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic. Skoda was positioned a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group in 2000 as the entry brand to the group. The total global sales reached 939,200 cars in 2012. Skoda Works was established as an arms manufacturer in 1859 and Skoda Auto is one of the five oldest companies, started the production of cars and has an uninterrupted history. The origins of Skoda go back to the late 1890s where, like many long-established car manufacturers, the company started building bikes. It was 1894 and 26-year old Václav Klement, the (then part of Austria, Hungary ) was a bookseller in Mladá Boleslav, Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, was unable to obtain spare parts to repair his German bicycle.
Klement returned his bicycle to the manufacturers, Seidel and Naumann, with a letter asking Czech repairs carried out, only a response to German that states : “If you want an answer to your question, you should try writing in a language who can understand it. ” A disgusted Klement, despite not having technical experience, decided to start a bicycle repair shop, which he and Václav Laurin opened in 1895 in Mladá Boleslav. Before we Laurin was established as a bicycle manufacturer in the nearby town of Turnov in partnership with Klement.
In 1898, after moving to the new factory, the pair bought a Werner “motorcyclist”, which was produced by the French manufacturer Werner Brothers. Laurin & Klement first motorcycle, driven by a motor on the handlebars driving the front wheels fitted, dangerous and unreliable earlier incident cost Laurin a tooth. In order to design a reliable machine with its structure around the engine, the pair wrote to German ignition specialist Robert Bosch for advice on a different electromagnetic system. New motorcycle pair her debut in 1899.
In 1900, when the company had 32 employees, began local production, with 150 machines shipped to London for the signing Hewtson. Shortly afterwards, the press credited them as makers of the first motorcycle. The first model, Voiturette A, was a success and the company was also Austria -Hungary and internationally established both inside. In 1905 the company car was and is the second oldest automobile manufacturer in the Czech lands after Tatras.
After the First World War, the Laurin & Klement company began producing trucks, but in 1924, after running into problems and being hit by a fire, the company sought a new partner. Meanwhile, Skoda Works, an arms manufacturer and cross-sectoral issues had become one of the largest industrial companies in Europe and the largest in Czechoslovakia, began with cars in cooperation with Hispano Suiza. Skoda is looking to expand their production base and acquired weapons Laurin & Klement moon in 1925. Most later production was carried out under the name of Skoda.
An assembly line is used for production since 1930. This year also formally spinoff of an automobile in a new company, per automobilový akciová spolecnost promise or as soon as possible, was performed. As soon as possible remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Skoda Works, and continued to sell cars under brand Skoda. Besides the plant in Mladá Boleslav is also the representation of the company, sales and service offices and a central workshop in Prague. Then extended the car factory in Mladá Boleslav, the area of 215,000 m2 and employs 3,750 workers and 500 blue collar.
After a decline during the economic depression, Skoda introduced a new line of cars in 1930, which significantly differed from their previous products. A new chassis design with backbone tube and round independent suspension under the direction of Chief Engineer Vladimir Matous derivative developed and first introduced by Hans Ledwinka Tatras. First, in the standard model Skoda 420 1933 is used, with the solution framework is sufficient torsional head.
The new chassis design was the basis for the popular models Rapid, Favorit and Superb. While in 1933, Skoda had a 14 % stake in the auto market of Czechoslovakia and the third position behind Prague and Tatras, the new line is a market leader in 1936, became, with 39 % share in 1938.
During World War II occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Skoda works were in a part of the Hermann Goering turned served Reichswerke WWII German effort by manufacturing components for all-terrain military vehicles, military aircraft, other weapons and ammunition components or cartridges. Vehicle production fell from 7,052 in 1939 to 683 in 1944, of which only 35 cars. 316 trucks were produced from January to May 1945. The air forces of the United States and Britain bombed Skoda works several times between 1940 and 1945. The last major air attack took place on 25 April 1945 and led to the almost complete destruction of the Skoda armament works and about 1,000 dead and wounded.