In 1895 Laurin and Klement founded Skoda, a Czech automaker, whose headquarters are located at Mlada Boleslav, in the Central Bohemiam Region of the Czech Republic. It is a private company and a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, a German automobile manufacturing group. The Company was founded because Laurin and KIement had a mutual love for bicycles and they wanted to form their own company that would manufacture and repair cycles. But, Skoda produced its first cars in 1905.
Skoda’s Chairman is Winfried Vahland and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Martin Winterkorn. Mr. Vahland was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Skoda on September 1st, 2010 replacing Reinhard Jung, the former President of Volkswagen Mexico who held the position for three years. Mr.Winterkorn, a professor-turned-chairman, praised Mr. Jung. He said Jung was instrumental in developing the “traditional Skoda brand.” But, he applauded Mr. Vahland even more vehemently saying, “Winfried Vahland has been instrumental in making China Volkswagen’s second home market.”
Skoda sold 6,84,226 cars in 2009. However, this figure was global and the Indian market failed to show sales growth as it found that in 2009, it had grown only by single digits, much lower than the 38% registered growth in 2008 –16,200 cars in the Indian market. Laura and Octavia are the super-sellers in the Indian market while Fabia trails behind just a little at a figure of 7,000 cars. The company’s sales figures increased primarily due to the Octavia which had sales figures of 2,73,590 cars in 2009. Another successful model in 2009 was the Skoda Fabia. Skoda Fabia’s total number of cars sold went up to 2,64,173 cars, which is 7.1 per cent higher than Fabia’s sales in 2008. Compared to last year, sales increased of the cars Superb (44,548 cars), Yeti (11,018 cars), Superb Combi (735 cars), Roomster (47,152 cars) and Octavia Tour (43,745 cars).
Skoda employs 24,714 people. In 2010, the company made 13.5 billion dollars in revenue and spent 11.5 billion dollars on production of cars. The profit of the company in the same year was approximately 2 billion dollars.
Between 1991 and 2001, Skoda produced the following cars:
Václav Laurin, a mechanic and Václav Klement, a book-seller, had manufactured bicycles, later producing motorcycles and ultimately producing cars. They founded a company called the Laurin and Klement Company in 1895 which manufactured bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles. The company grew and they had 12 employees later on. Car production commenced in 1905.
The first automobile that Laurin & Klement produced was the Voiturette A and it was a great success. After the success of the Voiturette A, the Company started developing automobiles for the international automobile market. In 1907, Mr. Laurin and Mr. Klement announced conversion to a joint-stock company. The Company expanded its production facilities.
However, as the First World War came by, in 1914, the company had to start giving attention to the production of military arsenal for the armed force. In 1925, Laurin and Klement was acquired by Skoda Works and continued operating, henceforth, under a different name of Skoda Auto. The Company went through several transformations. In early 1930, the automotive business was organized as a different joint-stock company within the Skoda Group.
For several years, the production of cars halted, due to the political changes in the economy during the Second World War. In 1987, however, the Skoda Favorite went into production. This led to re-launching of the company and with the political transformation of 1989 Skoda decided to search for a new partner. In 1991, Skoda partnered with the German Company, Volkswagen to produce cars.
Václav Laurin was born on 27 September 1865 in the town of Kameni U Pencina and was an engineer, entrepreneur and industrialist. In 1893, at the age of 28, he worked as a machinist in Mlada Bolesalv. The venture into bicycles began as Vaclav Laurin and Joseph Kraus started repairing and became good friends. In 1895, Mr. Laurin got himself into a partnership with Vaclav Klement with the mindset of an entrepreneur to open his own bicycle repair and manufacturer shop in a place called The Seven Thieves. They got business repairing and producing bicycles by the name Slavia. Later on, they started producing motorcycles and ultimately, cars. Mr. Laurin contributed to Skoda later as the technical director. He passed away on 13 August 1930.
Mr. Klement, raised by his stepmother and surrounded by unhappy people during childhood, was born on October 16, 1988, in the town of Velvary, three years after Mr. Laurin. Unlike Mr. Laurin who was very technical, Mr. Klement was more of a businessman who started his career as a bookseller’s apprentice in Slany. After his apprenticeship, he moved to Prague and to Mlada Boleslav where he worked at the Novotny bookshop. When he met Mr. Laurin, both of them collaborated on founding their own bicycle repair shop in 1895. He was involved in the commercial side of the business. Mr. Klement died eight years after Mr. Laurin on August 10, 1938 at the age of 69.
Skoda, the Czech automaker created a vision statement for the company. For the company to follow this statement will require adherence to the following values:
Apart from these three values, the company’s vision is to become the market leader in Europe. The company promises to provide quality sales, service and transportation needs to their users. The task will be given to employees and to the management who will have to focus their energies on customer satisfaction.
Skoda is a traditional brand but it is designing cars that meet the changing lifestyles of people. It offers cars at high quality and good value and cars that customers will love to drive.
Lukas Folc is the Managing Director of Skoda Auto India Private Limited. He was assigned as the Managing Director in place of Imran Hassen. Mr. Folc handled finance operations in Mlada Boleslav and India prior to becoming the Managing Director of Skoda Auto India.
Since August 1, 2010, Oliver Gruenberg has been Managing Director of Technical Affairs at Skoda Auto India Private Limited. Dr. Gruenberg was responsible in driving forward the business of the company in Russia. In 2009, he played a key role in handling the Volkswagen plant in Bosnia. Dr. Gruenberg earned a PhD in Engineering Sciences.
Thomas Kuehl serves as Director of Sales & Marketing and a Director at Skoda Auto India Private Limited. He is the speaker for the brand.
Makarand M. Deshpande has been the Director of Human Resources and Administration at Skoda Auto India Private Limited. Before joining Skoda he worked in two positions – as the Vice President of International Marketing of Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Limited and the General Manager of Exports at Cadila Health Care. He also has 23 years of experience in Colgate Palmolive, Thermax, TTK Maersk Medical, and NIPM Aurangabad. He completed his Bachelors of Science Degree and his Master’s of Science in Mathematics. He is a Mumbai University graduate in Labor Studies and Human Resources.
Karsten Bogun has been the Chief Financial Officer at Skoda Auto India Private Limited. He joined Skoda Auto India in 2006 as the Managing Director of Commercial Affairs. From 2007, he served as Managing Director for Sales at Skoda Auto India Private Limited.
Skoda started its operations in India on November 16, 2001. Soon after, Skoda had its first plant at Shendra in Aurangabad, India’s popular car production city, which was surprisingly the only other manufacturing plant for the company outside Europe, thereby establishing their base on the Indian soil. Opening the first plant outside Europe in India is not only a measure of the capabilities of India. Over the world, it accentuates the importance of India in the car production market.
Skoda gained a lot of popularity in the Indian car market, especially in the luxury segment. The first car to be launched in India was the Skoda Octavia which was priced at Rs. 10.6 lakhs. The size of the Aurangabad plant is 3,00,000 square meters. The production capacity of Skoda in India is 40,000 units per year. In Asia, this facility was regarded as one of the best engine assembly plants.
Furthermore, the second plant that opened in India was under the Volkswagen Group at Chakan in March 2009. Production at the plant, however, started two months later in May 2009. The first car that Skoda rolled out from the plant was the Skoda Fabia said Joerg Mueller, Volkswagen Group Chief Representative India and President and Managing Director of Volkswagen India Private Limited. Skoda has a 60-dealer network across India with Delhi and Mumbai key regions. The site increases Skoda’s investment in India to 90 million Euros. In 2007, Skoda invested $912 million to expand its production at the Aurangabad and Chakan plant. In 2009, the company’s localization level rose from 15% to 50%.
As of 2010, Skoda decided that it will produce 1.5 million cars per year worldwide for the next 10 years.
Skoda cars are based on Volkswagen technology and use the Turbocharged Diesel Injection, Multipoint Injection System, and High Torque performance Injection systems.
The Turbocharged Diesel (TDI) Engine uses a fuel injector that puts fuel into the main combustion chamber of each cylinder unlike the previous indirect injection. The turbocharger of the engine increases the amount of air that enters each cylinder and the intercooler lowers the temperature so that more fuel can be injected. This increases the fuel efficiency of the cars.
The Multipoint Injection System (MPI) is a system which injects fuel into each cylinder’s intake valve. It does not inject fuel from a single point.
The High Torque Performance (HTP) engine gives the car higher torque.
The first generation Octavia has a 4X4 wheel drive and featured a fuel tank carrying 63 litres. It was available in the 1.8T 150 bhp petrol engine, the 1.9Turbocharged Direct Injection 90 bhp diesel engine with a 50speed manual gearbox and the 1.9TDI-Pump Duse 100 bhp diesel engine with a 6-speed manual geabox. The vRS version is the quickest model which comes in a 1.8LT 180 bhp engine.
The second generation Octavia comes in 1.3 litres to 2.0 litres TSFI petrol engine types and 1.6 L to 2.0 L TDI diesel engine types. It comes in 5-speed to 7 speed gearboxes.
The Multipoint Injection System (MPI) is used in the Skoda Fabia.
The High Torque Performance (HTP) engine is part of Skoda Fabia.
As a manufacturer of city cars, Skoda has won many awards and trophies over the last century. Skoda worldwide and Skoda India have differentiated themselves in the last couple of years. In 2009 Skoda Auto launched the Skoda Superb in New Delhi. Some of the company’s accomplishments are as follows:
Skoda has manufacturing facilities in China, Czech Republic, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The company has many subsidiaries which include Skoda Auto Deutschland, Skoda Auto India, Skoda Auto Polska, and Skoda Auto Slovakia.
Skoda sold 85,000 cars in March 2011.
The company is a truly global company with a distribution network of 531 dealers all over the world and 60 dealers in India. The company has a 116 year history.
Firstly, Skoda Fabia is assembled in Mlada Boleslav, the headquarters, Aurangabad India, Oskemen, Kazakhastan, Shanghai, China, Solomonovo, Ukraine. In addition to the Skoda Fabia, the Skoda Octavia is produced in Mlada Boleslav, Crchlabi, Slovakia and Shanghai. In India, the second-generation Octavia is marketed as the Laura. Thirdly, the Skoda Roomster is assembled at Kvasiny, Czech Republic and Solomonovo, Ukraine. Fourthly, Skoda Superb is produced in Europe and China. Fifthly, the Skoda Yeti is produced in Kvasiny, Oskemen, and Solomonovo.
Skoda’s main hub is Europe; however the company has expanded operations all over the world. In Central and Eastern Europe, Skoda is the market leader and is entering speedily into Asia’s markets. In India, Skoda has built its own plant. The Czech company has been assembling cars in China, Bosnia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Skoda Western Europe makes up 55% of total sales.
Skoda has begun exports from India to Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, according to Lukas Folc, Managing Director of Skoda Auto India Private Limited. This was in an effort to make India the export hub for cars in South Asia.
Skoda’s pan-India plan indicates that the company has exported 15,000 cars in 2005, reaching an earning of Rs. 350 crores. The company had finalized its schedule of production –5000 cars in 2001, 10,000 cars in 2002, 12,500 cars in 2003 and 15,000 cars by 2005.
The company has decided to make India the export hub for South Asia, because of the low cost of labor and raw materials in India.
As of 2008, Skoda targeted exporting 100-200 cars out of India. The company will require dealerships to be setup to export the cars made in India. Skoda is also planning to export the Rapid from India in 2012, thereby making the car available globally.
At Skoda, the company plans to launch four new cars between 2011 and 2013. These four cars are the Skoda small car, the Skoda Rapid, the Skoda Felicia and the Bigfoot 7-seater Sports Utility Vehicle.
The small car was earlier expected to be launched in 2012 but due to some delays, it will now be launched in 2013. The car will come at a reasonable price tag of Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs said Thomas Kuehl, Chief, Sales and Marketing of the Czech company. This car is going to be available in both petrol and diesel engines and will be manufactured at the Skoda Pune Plant. With this car, Skoda makes an entry into the small car segment.
In addition to the small car, Skoda will also launch the Skoda Rapid, similar to the Volkswagen Vento in October 2011. In India, the car will be available in two variants – the petrol and diesel variants. The ex-showroom price of the diesel variant is Rs. 7.80 lakhs while the ex-showroom price for the petrol variant is Rs. 7 lakhs.
The Skoda Felicia is expected to hit the Indian market in 2012. The car is a sedan model based on Volkswagen’s PQ25 platform. Skoda plans to launch the car in two models – the petrol and diesel variant. The petrol engine gives out 100 horsepower and 153 Nm of torque while the diesel engine gives out 90 horsepower and 230 Nm of torque.
The Skoda Bigfoot is expected to be launched in 2013 and is an older-brother to the Skoda Yeti. Skoda plans to use Volkswagen’s PQ35 platform for this car. The car will come with Skoda’s 4 Motion 4-wheel drive system.