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SKODA background and news

Skoda Environmental Protection Credentials

As of Spring 2013, Skoda offers 48 models with carbon dioxide emissions of fewer than 120g/km and 10 models with emissions fewer than 100g/km. The marque’s most junior model, the tiny Mii, is available powered by compressed natural gas with the larger, CNG-powered Octavia set to go on sale late in 2013. Drivetrain electrification is another goal for Skoda and a ten-vehicle strong fleet of Octavia Green E-Line cars is currently undergoing testing.

The company’s ‘GreenFuture’ strategy is aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of its cars and also the water and energy economies of its plants. Since 1990, Skoda says it has invested over €410 million in sustainable processes, facilities and vehicle efficiency. The company still plants a tree for each car sold in the Czech Republic – 363,000 to date.

Skoda’s 2010 Sustainability Report indicated that water consumption per car produced has reduced by 60% from 1999 whilst wastewater had dropped nearly 70%. Solid waster per vehicle produced had also dropped from 95kg in 1999 to 37kg in 2009.

Manufacturer History

Skoda Auto is an automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic. In 1991, it became a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

The origins of Skoda go back to the early 1890s where, like many long-established car manufacturers, the company started out with the manufacture of bicycles.

The first model, Voiturette A, was a success and the company was established both within Austria-Hungary and internationally.

By 1905, cars were being produced by the firm. During the First World War Skoda was engaged in war production.

After WWI it began producing trucks, but in 1924, after running into problems and being hit by a fire, the company sought a partner.

As a result, it merged with Skoda Works, the biggest industrial enterprise in Czechoslovakia. Most later production was under the Skoda name.

After a decline during the economic depression, Skoda was again successful in the late 1930s.

The Velvet Revolution brought great changes to Czechoslovakia, and most industries were subject to privatisation.

In the case of Skoda Automobile, the government brought in a strong foreign partner. Volkswagen was chosen in 1990 and in April, 1991, Skoda became the fourth brand of the Volkswagen Group.

The perception of Skoda in Western Europe has undergone complete change. As technical development progressed and attractive new models were brought to market, Skoda's image was initially slow to improve.

By 2005, Skoda was selling over 30,000 cars a year in the UK. Skoda now has several manufacturing and assembly plants, including one in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Skoda also has an assembly plant in the city of Aurangabad, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Backed by VW expertise and investments the design, style and engineering have improved greatly.

Following a long history of class victories in lower levels of motorsport, Skoda became a participant in the FIA World Rally Championship in the 1999 season, with World Rally Car models of the Skoda Octavia. Skoda's best result with the Octavia WRC was a third place at the 2001 Safari Rally.

Skoda used the 2004 season to develop the car further but did not achieve much success the following season.

The bestsellers of the brand are the Fabia and the Octavia with both models available in estate version.

The flagship of the brand is the Superb, a very well equipped vehicle, cheaper than its German competitors, while the practical Roomster completes the range.