Skoda - Czech Automobile
The Czech automobile manufacturer, Skoda, was founded in 1895 and has its headquarters in Bohemia, Czech Republic. Skoda is popular worldwide, proven by their sales in 2014, which was 1.04 million cars. That said, the sales do increase annually by around 12.7%.
Skoda auto is currently among the 5 oldest car production companies, and falls in the ranks of the companies as such as Tatra, Daimler, Peugeot, and Opel. The company started off by producing bicycles in the beginning of 1890. The company first started producing motorcycles in 1899. As the company began growing, it had 32 employees in total in the 1900s, and 150 motorcycles were shipped off to London. These made in Czech motorcycles were a success, both nationally and internationally, especially their first model, which was called Voiturette A. They then began producing automobiles, which, by 1905, earned them the second position as car manufacturers right after the company, Tatra. The earliest production of Czech cars included the Laurin & Klement Type A, which was produced in 1905.
The company finally started using the assembly line to produce their cars in 1930. They began producing cars that looked different from the ones that were being produced before, and they began adding backbone tubes with their chassis and an independent suspension all-around. This design was first introduced in 1933 on a car called Skoda 420 Standard, and this was done in order to correct the ladder frame’s insufficient stiffness. All thanks to this new model, Skoda’s shares in the market went up from the 14% that it had in 1933 to a 39% in 1938. During World War II, Skoda also helped the war efforts and supplied the German military with vehicles, which resulted in the US and the UK air forces trying to destroy Skoda.
Now, over a century later, Skoda still exists, and if you’re ever on one of the several Prague sightseeing tours, be sure to visit Skoda’s production site and to ask lots of questions about it to your tour guide.