Skoda, the popular Czech auto manufacturer, continues to go from strength to strength. On this page you will find links, guides and information about leading Skoda models, as well as a history of the Skoda brand.
Skoda has come a long way from its origins as a bicycle manufacturer in the 1890s via a reputation as a producer of post-war communist workhouse vehicles to todays Skoda as one of the best value providers of stylish family cars. The modern overhaul of Skoda started in 1990 when the company was taken over by Volkswagen. The Skoda Fabia, the popular supermini, became the first car to transform Skodas reputation with the aid of VWs leadership and the Skoda Octavia and Superb similarly won over customers and industry experts who have been amazed by the performance, handling, comfort and value for money of these vehicles. The reputation of Skoda looks set to be enhanced as the company continues to add new models to its line up. Current highlights include the turbo-charged Skoda Octavia diesel.
Skoda has been scooping numerous awards in recent years as the companys cars continue to get better and better. Notable awards include 2007s JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey Skoda came 2nd overall, maintaining it in the top five for the previous 12 years. Amazingly Skoda came only second to premium luxury brand Lexus. The JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey is based on the opinions of over 18,000 UK car owners with an average of two years ownership. It includes 33 brands and 113 models and covers quality and reliability, vehicle appeal, dealer service satisfaction and ownership costs. The Skoda Fabia came 2nd in the Super Mini category and the Skoda Octavia was top of the Family Cars category while the Skoda Superb was 4th in the Luxury Saloons section. 2007 also saw Skoda winning Top Gear magazines readers poll for best car manufacturer. Skoda was the overall top car manufacturer of 2006 based on more than 56,000 contributors. Top Gear readers rated 152 cars in the magazines annual owner satisfaction survey and the Octavia was 3rd best car overall. Skoda also won the Auto Express Driver Power 2007 award with the new Octavia voted Best Car of the Year. Owners struggled to find any faults with Skodas family car, said Auto Express Editor in Chief, David John, a view matched by the overwhelming number of positive reviews at ReviewCentre.com.
In 1895 in Czechoslovakia cycle enthusiasts Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement launched their first company Slavia, designing and manufacturing bicycles. The pair started making motorbikes in 1899, changing the company name to Laurin & Klement Co. The companys first car emerged in 1905, the Voiturette A, a massive success which quickly established itself as a classic in Czech motoring history. The company continued to strengthen its position, producing a range of cars, trucks, buses, aeroplane engines and even agricultural machinery. In 1925 they merged with Pizen Skodovka Co and became Skoda. Major successes included the 1930s Type A Skoda Popular, ranging from everything from utility vehicles to roadsters. After the Second World War the Skoda Tudor and Skoda 1200 were also successful models while the Skoda 440, which launched in 1959, was the popular forerunner of the first Octavia. The Octavia was named because it was the eighth model to be produced after the end of World War 2. Skoda continued to make new and improved cars after this in the form of the Octavia, the Felicia, the MB range and the Rapid - but the sixties and seventies were not a high point in production. Skodas during this period did not have a popular reputation outside Czechoslovakia. The Skoda Favorit model range in 1987 changed all that though. The final version was designed by the legendary Italian designer, Bertone. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Skoda joined forces with Volkswagen in 1990. Skoda became the fourth brand in the Volkswagen group, alongside Volkswagen, Audi and Seat and the firm has clearly benefited from the new relationship. Since then, Skodas reputation has remained near the top for brand loyalty and satisfaction. The change in the companys fortunes was neatly summed up in a 2003 UK TV advertisement when a new production line employee is seen fitting Skoda badges on to car bonnets. When some nice looking cars come along he stands back, not fitting the badge, since they look so good he cannot believe they are Skodas. They are though and new markets opened up all over the world for them.