Leasing News - Spotlight on Skoda
With over 100 years of history Skoda really have had a rocky ride. Here in the UK, they staged a phenomenal marketing campaign to go from the object of ridicule to one of our most trusted brands. In our car leasing news we take a look at the Skoda story from the beginning …….
Where did it all begin?
The story of Skoda begins in 1895 in Czechoslovakia with a few push bikes and a company called Slavia. In 1899 Slavia added motors to their bikes and began to produce motorbikes. It was from 1905 onwards that Slavia branched out into cars and produced the Voiturett A. By 1925 Slavia merged with Pizen Skodovka Co and the company became Skoda, now making cars, trucks, buses, aeroplane engines and agricultural machinery.
During the war years domestic car production became limited, post war a breakthrough was made with the popular Skoda 1200 that continued production until 1973. The Skoda 440 was also born, which later became the Skoda Octavia in 1959. However from the 1960’s onwards Skoda were struggling to keep up with technological advances in the western world, the most popular vehicle produced was the Favorit designed by Bertone in 1987. Skoda realised they would need to improve international competitiveness so with this in mind Skoda joined the Volkswagen group in 1990.
If Skoda thought all their problems were over, they were wrong. Here in the UK Skoda were the butt of all jokes, to own one or be seen in one was the height of humiliation. With Skoda now producing reliable, efficient cars from within the Volkswagen group, the only problem was changing the public’s perception of the brand.
A massive advertising campaign in 1998 to launch the new Octavia failed miserably as only 2569 vehicles were sold. So a new approach was needed and the answer to Skoda’s problems was ……… humour …….Skoda accepted their bad reputation and poked fun at it, a risky approach, but it led to the now famous ‘it’s a Skoda……Honest’ campaign that helped Skoda be taken seriously.
The transformation from laughing stock to producer of high quality, reliable and affordable cars was complete and since then the awards have just been rolling in. Let’s take a look at what Skoda have won so far this year……
The Octavia won in its class at the annual Tow Car Awards.
Skodawon the Best Car Manufacturer in the Auto Express Driver Power Awards 2014
So from loving to hate them, to just loving them it seems every drivers needs can be met from Skoda’s range. With the Citigo, Rapid, Octavia, Roomster, Superb and Yetithere is a Skoda for everyone, and their great turnaround proves a Skoda may be a really wise choice for you next personal or business lease…….just don’t forget your car sticker ……!
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
17 July 2014
Written by Rivervale