ŠKODA is one of the most tradition-rich automobile makers in the world. Founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement set up their business in the city Jungbunzlau, Bohemia, present-day Mladá Boleslav. It all began in 1894, when Václav Klement, a bookseller by trade, saw reason to complain about shoddy workmanship with his new bicycle. The fairly rude response of the producer prompted Klement to repair bicycles himself, teaming up with cycle mechanic Václav Laurin, in December 1895. In the first years, Laurin & Klement built and repaired bicycles under the Slavia brand name.
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. It was in the year 1905 when the company presented its first automobile, called “Voiturette A”. The success of the first car provided a stable position in the rapidly growing international car market. In 1925, fusion with the Škodaworks Pilsen was accomplished, marking the end of the Laurin & Klement Company.
Since then the company has lived an eventful history which, after the political and economical changes of the times, led to the integration into the Volkswagen Group in 1991. Today, ŠKODA is one of the most successful automobile brands, offering nine model lines and having established a presence in more than 100 countries worldwide.
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