Škoda Auto is an automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic and is also one of the four oldest car manufacturers in the world Škoda was started in the early 1890s when the company started out producing bicycles. Václav Klement, who founded Škoda in 1894 was a bookseller by trade but was always unable to obtain the correct spare parts necessary to repair his German made bicycle, Klement decided to start a bicycle repair shop, which he opened in 1895.
After moving to their newly-built factory in 1898 the founders of Škoda bought a Werner motorcyclette. Laurin & Klement which is what Škoda was originally called first produced their own motorcyclette but it proved to be both dangerous and unreliable. Škoda decided to design a safer motorcycle of which the structure would be based around the engine. Laurin & Klement 's new Slavia motorcycle was officially released to the public in 1899 and by 1900 Škoda Auto had a workforce of around 32 employees and started to export their Slavia to London later that same year.
Škoda Auto was a manufacturer of military equipment during the First World War and by the end of the war, Škoda Auto began producing trucks.
During the Second World War Occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Škoda was forced to be a part of the Hermann Göring Werke that served the German World War II effort.
In 1945 their Mladá Boleslav factory had been reconstructed as it had previously been destroyed in a fire and was now used for the production of Škoda's first car.
Škoda was still manufacturing cars in 1980 which was based on their old 1960's conceptions.
In 1987 the Favorit's model appeared that was in part due to a design by an Italian design company.
In 1990, Škoda Auto was bought by the Volkswagen Group which was a decision made from a political standpoint, but none the less made sense as VW would be able to bring Škoda into the new century with, for the first time, the latest technology and not concepts based from a 40 year old design.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 03/06/2008