Anniversary year for ŠKODA AUTO: The car manufacturer celebrates 125 years since its founding and 115 years since the company launched automobile production. Several of the brand’s historically important models are also celebrating jubilees this year.
ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier emphasises: “ŠKODA AUTO is one of the world’s five oldest automobile manufacturers still active today. The courage and ingenuity of the two founders, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, are the cornerstone of this unique success story and at the same time an obligation and incentive to lead the company towards a prosperous future. This is precisely what we are doing through our Strategy 2025, transforming ŠKODA AUTO from a car manufacturer into a ‘Simply Clever Company for the best mobility solutions’.”
In pursuing this goal, ŠKODA AUTO is continuing along its path towards electromobility in 2020, presenting the series-production version of the VISION iV in the first half of the year. The 125th anniversary of the company’s founding thus also marks the beginning of a new era for the manufacturer: the all-electric SUV is the brand’s first vehicle to be based on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electric Platform (MEB). As part of its ongoing product campaign, ŠKODA will be launching 30 new models from 2019 to the end of 2022, more than ten of which will be partially or fully electric.
The company founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement laid the foundations for ŠKODA’s rise to become an internationally successful car manufacturer in December 1895: the repair and production of bicycles began in the central Bohemian town of Mladá Boleslav. The company named after them,
Laurin & Klement (L&K), would soon offer numerous two and three-wheelers in several dozen versions, and the production of motorcycles started in 1899. The technically innovative models soon gained in popularity for example in England, one of the most demanding export markets.
The first Laurin & Klement automobile, the Voiturette A, made its debut as early as 1905. It quickly proved to be a high-quality everyday vehicle with an excellent price-performance ratio. L&K comprehensively expanded its model range and soon also offered high-performance sports and commercial vehicles that would win over drivers around the world. One hundred fifteen years later, the automobile manufacturer is active in more than 100 markets, delivering 1.24 million vehicles to customers worldwide every year.
The basis for the further development of this success story was the 1925 merger of Laurin & Klement and the mechanical engineering group Škoda, which secured the necessary capital for expansion. Since then, the winged arrow has been featured in the brand logo of the vehicles from Mladá Boleslav.
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