The Škoda Works was founded in 1895. ŠKODA AUTO (through its precursor Laurin & Klement) is the fifth-oldest vehicle manufacturer, with a history that predates Daimler, Opel, Peugeot, and Tatra. In 1905, the couple created their first automobile. This car, known as the Voiturette A, was still classified as a Laurin & Klement but is largely considered as the first Skoda. It had a maximum speed of roughly 25mph and could seat two people, thanks to a water-cooled two-cylinder side-valve motor with 7bhp.
The strains of the post-World War I economy compelled the automobile manufacturer to seek a partner. Skoda Auto was formed in 1924 when Laurin & Klement combined with Czech corporation Skoda Works. Soon after, Laurin & Klement's automobiles were dubbed Skodas, and the term has stuck.
Skoda 1101 Tudor 1946
The original 110, the first automobile to be officially named a Skoda – and the last to bear the Laurin & Klement label – debuted in 1925. Over the next five years, vehicles like the Skoda-Hispano Suiza and Skoda 860 established the brand, and assembly line manufacturing began in 1930. Only four years later, vehicles with famous names like Popular, Rapid, and the flagship Superb began being assembled.
After WWII, when the Skoda factory was captured by Germany and devastated by the Allies, Czechoslovakia fell behind the Iron Curtain. Skoda was nationalised as a result. In 1948, the company became a component of the state's centrally planned communist economy.
The Felicia, a compact coupé with a convertible sibling developed for export, debuted in 1959, revealing the company's lighter side. The original Octavia, a moniker now associated with the brand, was released the same year. Skoda continued to expand into the global marketplace, and by the 1960s, it was selling automobiles in more than 60 countries.
Skoda built a reputation for itself for rally driving with the 130 RS, and the 1970s saw the introduction of a sleek coupe in the 110 R. The Bertone-styled Favorit, Skoda's first really contemporary European supermini with a transversely positioned engine and front-wheel drive, would not be released until 1987. This was Skoda's final significant model before the collapse of the Soviet Union and VW Group involvement in 1991. Volkswagen acquired full control of the trademark in 2000.
Skoda Octavia 1962
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