Škoda Auto Logo and Škoda history

Škoda Auto history

The origins of Škoda go back to the beginning of the 1890s, beginning as a manufacturer of bicycles. By 1894, a 26-year-old Václav Klement, who was a bookseller by trade in Mladá Boleslav, in today's Czech Republic (which was then part of Austria-Hungary) was unable to get parts to repair his German bicycle . Klement returned his bicycle to the manufacturers, Seidel and Naumann, with a letter requesting Czech parts needed to repair, only to receive in reply a letter in German saying: "If you want an answer to your inquiry, you should try writing in a language they understand ". Klement was disgusted, and although with no previous technical experience, decided to open his own bicycle repair shop with the help of Václav Laurin. Opened in 1895 in Mladá Boleslav. Laurin was an already established bicycle manufacturer from the nearby town of Turnov before going into business with Klement.

In 1898, after moving to the new factory they had built, bought a motorcycle Werner produced by the French company Werner Brothers. The first motorcycle Laurin & Klement, who had the motor mounted on the handlebars the front wheel proved dangerous and unreliable, Laurin himself lost one of its teeth in an accident with it. In order to design a safer machine whose structure around the engine, the pair wrote to German ignition specialist Robert Bosch for advice on a different electromagnetic system. The new motorcycle factory, Slavia name, made its debut in 1899. A year later, in 1900, the company had 32 employees and exports of the Slavia started with 150 motorcycles sent to the company Hewtson London. Shortly after the daily press named them as the first manufacturers of motorcycles. In 1905 joined its production cars.

The first model, Voiturette A, was a success and the company was established both within Austria-Hungary and internationally. During World War Škoda was engaged in war production. After the First World War the company started to produce trucks, but in 1924, after several problems and a fire, the company sought a partner. As a result it merged with Škoda Works, the biggest industrial enterprise in Austria-Hungary and then Czechoslovakia, though most production was under the Škoda name. After a decline during the economic depression, Škoda was again successful with models such as the Škoda Popular in the mid-1930s. During the occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II, production of the company was part of Hermann Göring Werke in order to add support to the German side.

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