Skoda celebrates 20 years under Volkswagen ownership this week
18 April 2011

Skoda is celebrating its 20th year of ownership by Volkswagen this week, two decades in which production has grown fourfold, making the takeover one of the most successful in recent automotive history.

“Twenty years ago, hardly anyone thought that the Czechs and Germans would co-operate so well,” said VW chairman Martin Winterkorn at an event in the Czech Republic to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

“But the Czechs have shown the will to construct great cars, VW has put its heart into this brand and Skoda has turned out to be a real play-maker.”

Last year Skoda built 762,000 cars — the first time it has broken through the three-quarter million barrier — which is a huge increase on the 190,000 it made in 1991 when VW took-over.

New look for next-gen Skodas

Longer term Skoda is eying 1.5 million units per year, with overseas manufacture at factories in India and China taking an increasing proportion of output.

Skoda boss Winfried Vahland was at pains to point out that production in the home market is still a priority for Skoda: ‘We need to reach new markets in order to achieve our objectives, but the Czech Republic will remain at the heart of our company.’

The passion that the Czech people and workforce have for Skoda was obvious at the 20th anniversary event at the factory in Mlada Boleslav, near Prague.

Czech president Vaclav Klaus and the speaker of the parliament Milan Stech both gave speeches, Milan’s particularly impressive because he was a union leader in the factory at the time.

“This was such an important step because it has helped us attract many major investments that contribute to our GDP, keep employment up and turn us into an automotive super power.”

Julian Rendell

See all the latest Skoda reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again