Ever since the automotive industry’s pioneering days, the ŠKODA brand has been turning out cutting-edge technologies and inventions. The joy of mobility and all things technical initially found expression in bicycles, followed by motorcycles and, ultimately, cars. Come with us on an exciting trip down memory lane at ŠKODA, taking in the company’s foundation in 1895 to the present day, and explore its rich heritage, brimming with great cars and intriguing moments.
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The spirited partnership between Václav Laurin and Václav Klement and the establishment of their joint venture laid the foundations for our company’s success story.
The ŠKODA story began in 1895 with our founders, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement. Besides their first names and a love for cycling, they had another thing in common: a strong inventive spirit.How it all began
There have been several breakthrough moments in our existence that have moved us forward and dictated which path to follow. Take a look at them with us and then explore all the models we have ever made.
The ŠKODA story began not on four wheels, but two: enthusiastic "velocipedists" and patriots Václav Laurin and Václav Klement decided to turn their passion into a career and to produce bicycles under the brand name "Slavia". The new brand rapidly became synonymous with quality and innovation. L&K soon became the second largest producer of bicycles in Czechia at the time.
Four years later they started to build bicycles with an auxiliary engine, the so-called Motocyclette. These motorcycles soon became very popular and won several awards in racing competitions, becoming the second pillar of the young company. The motorcycles from Mladá Boleslav were highly sought after, not only in their Bohemian homeland, but abroad as well.
Encouraged by this success, Laurin and Klement graduated to four wheels, and presented their first automobile, the ‘Voiturette A’. The vehicle impressed with its reasonable price as well as its practicality and robustness. This small 7-horsepower car marked the initial spark for a yearlong, successful corporate development under the name of L&K, accompanied by the launch of further successful models.
In 1924 the L&K factory was partially destroyed by a large fire, which led to the company merger with the engineering giant from Plzeň, ŠKODA, marking the end of the Laurin & Klement company. Through the entire 20th century, encompassing two World Wars and a socialist-era planned economy, the commitment from ŠKODA to building high-quality cars didn’t waver.
In March, 1991 the company begins a partnership with Volkswagen. Even the company name is new: ŠKODA, joint-stock automotive company. Three years after the merger with Volkswagen, the new ŠKODA FELICIA model was born. Cooperation with Europe’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen, was very successful and took production to a new level.
The first model to be developed completely from scratch after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the merger with Volkswagen. It gave the decisive impetus for the rapid transformation of the company into one of the recognised global players. Since their market launch, more than five million ŠKODA OCTAVIAs have been produced, and we’re still counting.
The year 2016 marked the beginning of ŠKODA’s foray into the rapidly expanding SUV segment, where the brand had been represented up to then by the successful YETI. The first model under this new strategy was the ŠKODA KODIAQ, soon followed by the ŠKODA KAROQ.
With the VISION E study, the company provides its first outlook on the future of individual mobility. The five-door SUV coupé can travel up to 500 kilometres on purely electric power and meets the level 3 requirements for autonomous driving. ŠKODA is intensively perusing the electrification of its model range, and will be offering five purely electric models by 2025.
Take a ride in a vintage ŠKODA. Go back in time with us and sit at the wheel of an L&K ŠKODA 110. A pleasant drive around historical Prague awaits you, where you will find out a lot of interesting stuff, and not only about the car in which you are sitting.
Since the start of production in Mladá Boleslav in 1895, the company has provided the world with many racing legends, memorable victories and unforgettable machines. Take a look at important milestones in ŠKODA’s racing history.All about ŠKODA racing history
Experience ŠKODA’s history at our museum, where you will see the latest futuristic concepts alongside iconic models.