Czech brand Skoda has one of the longest histories in the automotive world. Its roots go back to a company Laurin & Klement that started making bicycles in 1895 before moving onto motorbikes 10 years later, then cars from 1905.
The winged logo long associated with the brand was first used in 1925 when L&K merged with engineering company Skoda and the Skoda Type 110 was born.
The reputation of Skoda vehicles wasn’t great by the 1980s but the brand’s fortunes were transformed in 1991 when it was purchased by the mighty Volkswagen Group.
Although this gave Skoda access to a vast VW Group parts bin, including vehicle platforms to share, the company has managed to give its cars their own distinctive look inside and out. It has also lived up to its ‘Simply Clever’ tagline with smart practical touches such as boot lights that double as a removable torch and umbrellas secreted into the doors of many of its cars.
Skoda relaunched properly in Australia in 2007. The Octavia sedan/wagon has traditionally been the most popular Skoda, with RS performance variants establishing their own cult following.
There have been quirky models such as the Yeti compact SUV and Roomster MPV, though Skoda sales locally were given their biggest boost by the arrival of the Kodiaq seven-seater SUV in 2017 – followed by the Karoq small SUV and Kamiq light SUV.
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