It all began in the 19th century in the city of Mlada Boleslav (Mladá Boleslav), which to this day is the head office of the company. Someone Václav Klement (Václav Klement), a bookseller by profession and a passionate cyclist on hobby, tortured write from abroad parts of the iron horse, I decided to do their own assembly. His companions became a mechanic Vaclav Laurin (Václav Laurin). Developed a design they called Slavia. Company on their assembly was named Laurin & Klement Co. It was in 1895.
Things went, and quite successfully. What it allowed in 1989 switched to motorcycles. Although this type of equipment in those years was still a novelty, companions managed to develop a very good model, which began to enjoy steady demand.
Further more not wanting to stop there, the founders Laurin & Klement try their hand at making cars. In 1905, there Voiturette A - the first in the history of the Czech car. And here the company was waiting for success - the novelty has become very popular. Inspired by the success of Vaclav and Vaclav Launches another model called Faeton. But all their plans crosses the First World War. Laurin & Klement is forced to switch to the production of military equipment.
After the war, to survive in a country with a shattered economy small car manufacturer was unreal. Laurin & Klement is forced to unite with the largest industrial union in the Czech Republic Pilsen Škoda Co *. It disappears brand Laurin & Klement and in its place comes a new, well-known to this day - Škoda. And, despite the death of the old brand, the company's union has gone on advantage. She not only survived, but again, albeit slowly, but began to gain strength, releasing new cars. So there is a successful model Popular. They are produced as trucks and buses.
Again, stable development of the company puts an end to the war. At this time World War II. Once again, the company's factories are switching to weapons release for German soldiers (this time even tanks). Again, these plants lie in ruins after the end of hostilities. Allies reacted favorably to Škoda and did not impose any sanctions on it, yet the Czech Republic itself was occupied and arms are produced not for my own pleasure.
The company was nationalized and renamed AZNP Škoda ( «Automobilové závody, národní podnik» - «Automotive plants, national company"). She gets a monopoly on the production of cars in the Czech Republic, which allows it to recover quite quickly.
Until the 60s of the 20th century, Škoda cars are not very inferior to Western competitors. The Company managed to maintain a high level of its products. But later, the general decline of socialist countries played a role. Škoda was the largest automaker in Eastern Europe, but it did not save the situation. More or less managed to save the situation with the launch of series production Favorit successful model in 1987. But this was not enough, after the fall of the "Iron Curtain." In order to save the state company was forced to seek a worthy partner. It appeared to be the German concern Volkswagen Group. The union took place in 1991. So there was Škoda, automobilová as or just Škoda Auto.
Today Škoda brand used by several companies, nominally belonging to Škoda Holding. production of wide spectrum - machine tools, automobiles, trolleybuses (the same legendary "neubivaemye" trolley enterprise Škoda Ostrov, who you can meet in many cities of the former USSR), locomotives, multiple components and spare parts for power equipment. Some of these companies, albeit to a shared brand name and logo are already other owners. As an example, the very Škoda Auto.