Skoda is an auto company based in the Czech Republic. This company has been in existence since 1895 and is one of the five oldest auto manufacturers in the world. Their cars are still produced and, on the road, today and it is highly recommended that owners have the Skoda workshop manual on hand.
Originally, Skoda started out as a bicycle company started by 2 men, Laurin and Klement. When Klement could not find parts to repair his German bicycle. The two friends decided to start their own bike repair shop. The first project the two would undertake, was the development of a motorized bike.
By 1899, the pair would debut their new Slavia motorcycle. This production of this motorcycle made them the first motorcycle factory in Central Europe. The arrival of 1900 saw the pair with 32 employees in their factory and they began to export the motorcycles. They shipped 150 motorcycles to London and were credited as makers of the first motorcycle.
In 1905 the company began turning out automobiles. This placed them as the second oldest car manufacturer in the Czech Republic. Their company at this point had 320 employees and 170 special tools that used steam. Their first model automobile, Voiturette A, was successful and established Skoda as a worldwide contender in the auto manufacturing industry.
After WWI, they began to produce trucks. By 1930 the company began to use the assembly line with regards to production. Skoda also introduced a new line of cars about the same time. This new car, the Skoda 420 Standard, was equipped with a new chassis. This new chassis would go on to be used with 4 other car models.
During WWII, the plant was taken over and used for producing military vehicles. Because of this, production dramatically decreased. But after WWII, the factory was rebuilt and by July of 1945, they released the first new automobile.
By model year 1960, Skoda began selling cars in the United States. The first car was the Felicia. This compact. 4-cylinder car was affordable, but had a lot of issues. Since this car had so many reliability issues, it would be the only Skoda car sold in the US. However, Skoda cars would be continued to be sold throughout the UK and Western Europe.
After the fall of Communism, Skoda became part of the Volkswagen Group in 1990. This partnership allowed Skoda to benefit from better design styling and engineering. In 2010, Skoda debuted an electric hybrid car. Today Skoda cars are sold in 102 countries.
Skoda cars are definite contenders with other big name manufacturers. The Skoda service manual is a definite advantage to have when for maintaining any Skoda vehicle.