If you belong to the younger crowd of readers, you may not even know about this. Buying a Skoda was nothing that most Westerners could imagine. Today, it’s hardly anyone who raises his eyebrows if they say that Skoda is a good and reliable brand. This is why.
Skoda’s success story began 25 years ago, more specifically 9 December 1990. Communism had just fallen, and a large number of companies were waiting to be bought and privatized.
Be purchased or go bankrupt
The Czech newly formed state realized that Skoda’s brand was too weak to stand on its own feet in a market economy. Skoda also had extensive debt for money borrowed to put the latest Skoda Favorit model into production.
When Skoda was released for sale, there were several stakeholders. The biggest were General Motors, BMW, and Volkswagen, but the final bids came from Volkswagen and Renault.
The Buyer shovels money
Volkswagen got the deal and opened their big wallet to get the car brand on its feet. They invested DEM 9 billion in a modernization of factories and improvements to the new model Favorit.
Volkswagen could also choose to scrape the model, as the quality was inadequate. However, Volkswagen thought one step further.
Skoda Favorit instead became the forerunner of the first real success, namely Skoda Felicia, which came in 1994.
Brand new model
The next model from Skoda came in 1996. It was the new Octavia who had no relationship with former Skoda but entirely based on Volkswagen technology.
The first Octavia was still far from being a Volkswagen in another suit. The design was characterized by cheap solutions and efficient production in combination with older Volkswagen technology.
This concept made success in the ancient eastern countries where a cheap car with West technology has not previously existed. It was perfectly suited for the inhabitants of the ruined economies.
Criticism in the Czech Republic
Initially, Volkswagen received a lot of criticism from the Czech Republic. The Czechs had difficulty accepting a market economy operation of the company, which meant that reorganization and streamlining were slower to implement.
For many years, Skoda had not worked as a profit-making company.
A car among others
In recent years, Skoda has been seriously accepted and some major differences in construction compared to Volkswagen are difficult for the unintended to notice.
How has this development affected sales figures?
It’s hard to believe that in 1991, Skoda sold 172,000 cars. In 2014, the figure was 1.04 million sold vehicles.
No one laughs at Skoda anymore …