Skoda just completed its 20th year after being taken over my Volkswagen. With the German automaker taking over, the Czech company has quadrupled its sales worldwide and has expanded its vehicle range from one product in 1991 to currently five different models. So how did it all happen?
– Following the political change, Škoda begins searching for a strong western partner. Besides Volkswagen, GM, BMW, and Renault are making a pitch. The primary interest of the foreign manufacturers is aimed at the front wheel drive technology of the Škoda model Favorit.
– In December 1990, the Czech government awards the Volkswagen Group with the deal. On April 16th, 1991, the agreement takes effect. A new era begins for the company.
– The Favorit is replaced with the new model Felicia. With regard to quality and styling, the vehicle meets international standards.
– In mid-February, the foundation stone for the production facility for the new middle class model Octavia is laid in Mladá Boleslav. A new hall for the paint shop is built as well. The factory in the Northern Bohemian town of Vrchlabí is modernized. The investments by the Volkswagen Group in these and other measures correspond to 20 percent of all the foreign investments in the Czech Republic.
– At the end of April, the one-millionth Škoda vehicle since the entry of Volkswagen is built.
– On September 3rd, 1996, the new manufacturing plant for the Octavia is ceremoniously opened.
– With the Octavia, the manufacturer introduces the second model series.
– The success of the brand increases. In January of 1998, the company receives the name Škoda Auto a.s. and becomes the largest industrial company in the Czech Republic. In the same month, work starts for the construction of a new car body manufacture with a capacity of 1200 car bodies per day.
– In May of 1998, the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Škoda Parts Center takes place.
– In November, the construction of a model customer center and the hall for the production of engine and transmission components with an annual capacity of half a million units starts.
– For the first time, Škoda produces more than 400,000 vehicles per year (1998). They are exported into 70 countries.
– The Octavia is supplemented with a station wagon version.
– A further expansion of the Octavia range with a four-wheel version
– In April of 1999, the new Research and Development Center is opened, strengthening the autonomy of the Technical Development Department
– As the third model, the new Fabia is introduced on the market. It is immediately awarded with the “Golden Steering Wheel” in Germany.
– The Volkswagen Group becomes the hundred percent owner of the company.
– The station wagon version of the Fabia is introduced.
– The internationalization is boosted. Škoda starts its production in Aurangabad, India.
– The Superb is launched in the market.
– Sales on the Indian market begin.
– In Kvasiny, Czech Republic, a new plant is opened.
– Škoda builds the four-millionth car in Mladá Boleslav since the entry of Volkswagen.
– The Octavia II is launched in the market.
– The newly expanded Logistical Center for original parts and accessories in Mladá Boleslav begins its operations.
– On November 1st, the Czech automobile manufacturer builds the five-millionth vehicle since 1991.
– For the first time, the annual production exceeds the amount of 500,000 vehicles.
– Škoda ventures onto the Chinese market
– As the fourth model series by the manufacturer, the smart space marvel Roomster is launched
– In Shanghai, the brand opens its first exclusive dealership in China and begins the licensed production of Škoda vehicles together with Shanghai Volkswagen.
– The new Fabia enters the market and seamlessly continues the success of its predecessor.
– In March, the new Superb celebrates its world premiere. With that model, Škoda picks up the tradition of the model series from the 1930s and ventures into the upper middle class.
– In a joint venture with Volkswagen, an assembly line in the Russian town of Kaluga is prepared.
– Škoda proves its social commitment with the ceremonial opening if the educational center “Na Karmeli” in Mladá Boleslav. The Škoda Academy is located there as well.
– The first, particularly environmentally-friendly vehicles of the GreenLine series are introduced in the market.
– At the Geneva Motor Show, the new Yeti is presented as the 5th model of the brand.
– The number of vehicles built since the entry of Volkswagen exceeds seven million units.
– The production of the Octavia in the Russian town of Kaluga begins at full depth.
– For the first time, the manufacturer exceeds the threshold of three quarters of a million sold vehicles.
– For the first time, the manufacturer presents an electric vehicle, the concept car Octavia Green E Line at the Paris Motor Show.
– In December, Škoda and Shanghai Volkswagen sign a license agreement for the production of the Yeti in China, beginning in 2013.
– Škoda Motorsports wins the world championship of the rally series “International Rally Championship”.
– With the Škoda Growth Strategy, worldwide sales are to be doubled to 1.5 million units by the year 2018.
– The manufacturer celebrates the jubilee “110 Years of Škoda Motorsports”.
– A new corporate design and the newly designed company logo are launched, marking the setting out of the company to new horizons.
– The design study VISIOND gives a preview of the future design architecture of the brand.
– 20-year anniversary of the cooperation with Volkswagen.