Albion 16HP Wagonette 1904Workers at Albion Motors in 1911
ALBION 970 Front of an earlier model
Albion Venturer 1949
Heavy-duty Albion CX24 recovery truck
Albion Reiver 1963
Albion Commercial Vehicles at Biggar Vintage Rally, August 2008
1922 Albion Harvey Model 20 15-seater bus (12 passengers in the rear, 2 passengers in front, plus driver) C20 ES 51501924 Albion SB1927 Albion Flatbed
1929 Albion Shell-mex1934 Albion KL1271935-40 Albion model 126 15945Albion model 1261936 Albion AZ1 BUS 567 Rogerson Mobile Home1937 Albion KS127 tippers Bell Brothers, Newburgh1937 Albion KS127 tippers Bell Brothers, Newburgh
1947 Albion AZ5N After Refurb SX 6215 Mobile shop BAF
1948-52 Albion Clydesdale FT102S
Albion Automotive of Scotstoun, Glasgow is a former Scottish automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer. It is currently involved in the manufacture and supply of Automotive component systems.
From WW1 to the 1950s, Albion had rivalled Foden for the reliability and ruggedness of their trucks. Albion was incorporated into Leyland Motors in 1951, and merely became a badge for their smaller lines. The badge was dropped by British Leyland in 1980.
Today the company is a subsidiary of American Axle & Manufacturing, and manufactures axles, driveline systems, chassis systems, crankshafts and chassis components. It is Scotland’s best known name in the motor industry. Albions were renowned for their slogan “Sure as the Sunrise”.
Originally known as Albion Motor Car Company Ltd, the company was founded in 1899 by Thomas Blackwood Murray and Norman Osborne Fulton (both of whom had previously been involved in Arrol-Johnston) they were joined a couple of years later by John F Henderson who provided additional capital. The factory was originally on the first floor of a building in Finnieston Street, Glasgow and had only seven employees. In 1903 the company moved to new premises in Scotstoun.
The Albion Motor Car Company Ltd was renamed Albion Motors in 1930.
In 1951, Leyland Motors took over. After the British Leyland Motor Corporation was founded in 1968, production continued with the Albion Chieftain, Clydesdale & Reiver trucks and the Albion Viking bus models. Production of these was then moved to the Leyland plant at Bathgate in 1980. In 1969, the company took over the neighbouring Coventry Ordnance Works on South Street, which it continues to operate from.
Leyland dropped the Albion name when the company name was changed to Leyland (Glasgow) and later to Leyland-DAF from 1987 when it became a subsidiary of that Dutch concern.
In 1900 they built their first motor car, a rustic-looking dogcart made of varnished wood and powered by a flat-twin 8hp engine with gear-change by “Patent Combination Clutches” and solid tyres.
In 1903 Albion introduced a 3115 cc 16 hp vertical-twin, followed in 1906 by a 24 hp four. One of the specialities the company offered was solid-tiredshooting-brakes. The last private Albions were powered by a 15 hp monobloc four of 2492 cc.
Passenger car production ceased in 1915 but in 1920 the company announced that estate cars were available again based on a small bus chassis, it is not known if any were actually made.
Albion 8 (1900–1904) 2080 cc twin-cylinder
Albion 12 (1900–1906) 2659 cc twin-cylinder
Albion 16 (1905–1913) 3141 cc twin-cylinder
Albion 24/30 (1906–1912) 3164 cc 4-cylinder
Albion 15 (1912–1915) 2492 cc 4-cylinder
Commercial vehicle production
Although the manufacture of motor cars was the main industry in the first ten years of its existence, it was decided in 1909 to concentrate on the production of commercial vehicles. During World War 1 they built for the War Office large quantities of 3 ton trucks powered by a 32 hp engine using chain drive to the rear wheels. After the war many of these were converted for use as charabancs.
Trucks and buses (single and double deckers) were manufactured in the Scotstoun works until 1980 (1972 for complete vehicles). The buses were exported to Asia, East Africa, Australia, India and South Africa. Almost all Albion buses were given names beginning with “V”, these models being the Victor, Valiant, Viking, Valkyrie, and Venturer.
CX22S Heavy artillery tractor.
WD66N (only 9 built).
WD.CX24 Tank transporter
Albion also made the Claymore with the 4 speed gearbox,The Reiver was a six wheeler. The Chieftain had a 6 speed gearbox, 6th being an overdrive gear, with a worm and wheel rear axle.
The earliest buses were built on the A10 truck chassis with two being delivered to West Bromwich in 1914. Newcastle upon Tyne also took double deckers around this time, but Albion did not produce a purpose-built double deck chassis until 1931.
In 1923 the first dedicated bus chassis was announced derived from the one used on the 25 cwt truck but with better springing. Bodies seating from 12 to 23 passengers were available. A lower frame chassis, the Model 26, with 30/60 hp engine and wheelbases from 135 inches (3,400 mm) to 192 inches (4,900 mm) joined the range in 1925. All the early vehicles had been normal control, with the engine in front of the driver but in 1927 the first forward control with the engine alongside the driver was announced as the Viking allowing 32 seats to be fitted. Diesel engines, initially from Gardner, were available from 1933. The first double deck design was the Venturer of 1932 with up to 51 seats. The CX version of the chassis was launched in 1937 and on these the engine and gearbox were mounted together rather than joined by a separate drive shaft. Albion’s own range of diesel engines was also made available.
After World War 2 the range was progressively modernised and underfloor engined models were introduced with two prototypes in 1951 and production models from 1955 with the Nimbus.
With the Leyland take over the range was cut back. The last Albion double decker was the 1961 Lowlander and that was marketed in England as a Leyland, and the last design of all was the Viking, re-using an old name.
Model 24 (1923–1924) First purpose built Albion bus chassis
Viking 24 (1924–1932) Various wheelbases from 10 feet 9 inches (3.28 m) to 16 feet 3 inches (4.95 m) Front wheel brakes from 1927. Six cylinder engines available in Viking Sixes.
Valkyrie (1930–1938) Forward control. 5 litre engine, 6.1 litre from 1933, 7.8 litre optional from 1935. Mainly sold as coaches.
Valiant (1931–1936) Mainly sold to the coach market.
Victor (1930–1939) Normal or forward control. 20 or 24 seater.
Venturer (1932–1939) Albions first double decker. 51, later 55 seats. 3 axle version, the Valorous made in 1932, only one produced.
Valkyrie CX (1937–1950) Engine and gearbox in-unit.
Venturer CX (1937–1951) Double decker.
Victor FT (1947–1959) Lightweight single decker
Valiant CX (1948–1951) Mostly sold to coach operators.
Viking CX (1948–1952) Mainly sold to the export market.
Royal Scot (1959) 15.2 litre underfloor engined 6×4 dirt-road bus. 20 built for South African Railways.
Victor VT (1959–1966) Front engined, derived from Chieftain truck chassis.
Clydesdale (1959–1978) Export model built on truck chassis.
Talisman TA (1959) 9.8 litre front engined 6×4 dirt-road bus. 5 built for Rhodesian Railways.
Lowlander (1961–1966) Double decker. 18 feet 6 inches (5.64 m) wheelbase. LR7 had air rear suspension.
Viking VK (1963-1984?) Mainly exported. Leyland O.370 O:400, O:401 engines. VK 41,55 were front engined; VK43,45,49,57,67 models were rear engined, Australian market had optional AEC AV505 engines.
Valiant VL (1967–72) Similar to rear-engined Vikings but with tropical cooling unit as on VK45 and axles from Clydesdale.
Automotive components production
A complete change of profile went on in 1980. Since then, only automotive components, such as rear axles, have been produced.
During World War II, Albion Motors manufactured
Enfield No 2 Mk I* revolvers to aid the war effort. By 1945, 24,000 Enfield No 2 Mk I* revolvers were produced by Albion (and subsequently, Coventry Gauge & Tool Co.)
This is everything I could find about ALBION, a fascinational and remarkable Scottish Truck and other Vehicle making Cooperation on the World Wide Web. Enjoy the pictures with me, and when you have pictures or info that can make this blog more interesting I will appreciate this. Thanks and enjoy.
1961 The LV cab was introduced. The company employed 315 persons.
1961 Manufacturers of commercial motor vehicles. 315 employees.
1967 Fire appliances were produced, a situation which continued for ten years until taken over by Jennings
1970 Changes to the A range
1973 Developed the SP cab for vehicles up to 42ton gvw
1974 The B range introduced
1996 Company bought by Western Star of Canada
After a period of recuperation he returned to the development of a diesel lorry on his own account. With the collaboration of his son Dennis, William’s son Ted, and several key figures dismissed by Fodens, Edwin went on to establish a rival concern, which became ERF Ltdits factory in Sandbach, Cheshire was closed in 2002, and it was discontinued as a marque by owner MAN AG in 2007.
In 1881 the first Fodentraction engine was built in Sandbach, Cheshire. Then in 1898 Edwin Richard Foden influenced future truck design by designing the first steam wagon running on steel tyre wheels which had been successful until 1913 when vulcanised solid rubber tyre development had advanced to the stage of allowing their fitment on heavy vehicles. Edwin introduced the first pneumatic-tyred Foden steam wagon, but as steam transport appeared to be going out of favour, Edwin turned his attention to the development of a 6-8 ton chassis fitted with new Gardner LW (Light Weight) high speed oil-engine.
At the beginning of the 1930s, Britain’s industry was struggling to survive the worst recession in living memory and unemployment exceeded two million. At this time insurers were becoming increasingly reluctant to underwrite steam boilers. As a result, Edwin believed the future of the lorry building industry lay in Diesel engine power. The Foden boardroom did not agree, and consequently he resigned along with his son Dennis.
With the help of his son Dennis and two former colleagues, including Ernest Sherratt who became Chief Engineer, Edwin worked to build the first ERF diesel lorry in 1933 and gave the first chassis the number 63 which was Edwin’s age. Fromm the beginning the company only bought in the best components available, including engines from Gardner, gearboxes from David Brown and axles from Kirkstall Forge, rather than making everything in house. This concept would serve ERF well throughout its existence. A new and striking cab was styled by Sandbach coachbuilder John Henry Jennings, who also provided initial factory space to assemble the new lorry. Based in Sandbach, Cheshire, the company made their own chassis and cabs, originally with engines from Gardner, but later also Cummins, Perkins, Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar Inc..
ERFs used to be marketed under the Western Star badge in some countries such as Australia. It also built a specialist fire engine chassis, with a body built on by in-house company JH Jennings, later Cheshire Fire Engineering. However, when recession came in the early 1980s and production fell from a total output of 4,000 chassis per annum, CFE was sold to management to eventually become Saxon Sanbec.
ERF was never a major manufacturer; as an example their domestic sales total only reached 1,083 trucks in 1981. The company was bought by Canadian truck maker Western Star in 1996. However, after PACCAR‘s purchase of Foden, DAF Trucks and Leyland Trucks increased competitive pressure, and Western Star was approached by Freightliner Trucks corporation, the decision was made to sell ERF.
Purchase by MAN
In 2000, ERF became part of MAN AG. Freightliner tried to sue Western Star and ERF’s former auditors, but failed on the grounds of corporate negligence.
All the ERF trucks were based on MAN’s existing products, the only difference being that the ERF model came with the option of specifying use of CumminsISMe power plant as an alternate to MAN’s own D20common rail power-plant. The Sandbach factory was closed by MAN in 2002, with production of the ECT moved to Munich, Germany, ECM and ECL units moved to Steyr, Austria where they are built on the same facilities as their identical MAN counterparts.
In the light of Cummins’ intransigence on upgrading the ISMe engine to comply with the Euro4 emission regulations, MAN initially decided to replace it completely with the new series of MAN D20 engines. With ERF badging only used for the British market, MAN decided to cease the supply of ERF badged trucks from July 2007.
In popular culture
On the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, the presenters are challenged to buy lorries and presenter Richard Hammond buys an ERF from Walker Movements Limited in Leicester. He pronounces the name phonetically. In response to a quip about its diminutive size, Hammond responds by calling it ‘the Caterham of lorries’ as it has an engine that could match Jeremy Clarkson‘s 12 litres (732.3 cu in) Renault Magnum, but as light and as small as James May‘s ScaniaP94D. It was also the fastest among the three; it has a top speed that exceeds 90 miles per hour (145 km/h).
1947 ERF (Gardner diesel)
1959 ERF type 6.4G
Front of a 1975 ERF A-series
ERF ECT unit 2005
Dai Davies, ERF: The Inside Story, 2009, 160p. 300 col. & b/w ill. h/b.
In 1925 Laurin & Klement was acquired by Škoda Works which itself became state owned during the communist regime. After 1991 it was gradually privatized and in 2000 Škoda became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
Initially, the company was meant to serve the role of the VW Group’s entry brand. Over time, however, the Škoda brand has shifted progressively more upmarket, with most models overlapping with their Volkswagen counterparts on price and features, while eclipsing them on space. Its total global sales reached 1.06 million cars in 2015 and had risen annually by 1.8 percent, profit had risen by 6,5%. In 2015, a corporate strategy was launched to produce an all-electric car by 2020 or 2021 with a range of over 300 miles (480 km), 15-minute charging time, and a cost below comparative combustion-engine vehicles.
The Škoda Works were established as an arms manufacturing plant in 1859. Škoda Auto (and its predecessors) is one of the five oldest companies producing cars and has an unbroken history alongside Daimler, Opel, Peugeot and Tatra.
The origins of what became Škoda Auto go back to the early 1890s when, like many long-established car manufacturers, a company started manufacturing bicycles. Škoda (then Laurin & Klement) factories were founded in 1896 as a velocipede manufacturer.
In 1894, 26-year-old Václav Klement, who was a bookseller in Mladá Boleslav, Kingdom of Bohemia (today’s Czech Republic, then part of Austria-Hungary), was unable to obtain spare parts to repair his German bicycle. Klement returned his bicycle to the manufacturers, Seidel and Naumann, with a letter, in Czech, asking them to carry out repairs, only to receive a reply, in German, stating: “If you would like an answer to your inquiry, you should try writing in a language we can understand”. Not satisfied with the reply and realising the business potential, Klement, despite having no technical experience, decided to start a bicycle repair shop, which he and Václav Laurin opened in 1896 in Mladá Boleslav. Before going into partnership with Klement, Laurin was an established bicycle manufacturer in the nearby town of Turnov.
In 1898, after moving to their newly built factory, the pair bought a Werner “Motocyclette”. Laurin & Klement‘s first motorcyclette, powered by an engine mounted on the handlebars driving the front wheels, proved dangerous and unreliable—an early accident on it cost Laurin a front tooth. To design a safer machine with its structure around the engine, the pair wrote to German ignition specialist Robert Bosch for advice on a different electromagnetic system.
Their new Slavia motorcycle made its debut in 1899 and the company became the first motorcycle factory in the Central Europe. In 1900, with a company workforce of 32, Slavia exports began and 150 machines were shipped to London for the Hewtson firm. Shortly afterwards, the press credited them as makers of the first motorcycle.
By 1905 the firm was manufacturing automobiles, making it the second-oldest car manufacturer in the Czech lands after Tatra. The company, with an area of 7800 m2, had a workforce of 320 and used 170 special machine-tools, power-driven by 100 hp of steam power. The first model, Voiturette A, was a success and the company was established both within Austria-Hungary and internationally.
Škoda 422 (1929)
After World War I the Laurin & Klement company began producing trucks, but in 1924, after running into problems and being affected by a fire on their premises, the company sought a new partner.
Meanwhile, “Akciová společnost, dříve Škodovy závody” (Limited Company, formerly the Škoda Works), an arms manufacturer and multi-sector concern which had become one of the largest industrial enterprises in Europe and the largest in Czechoslovakia, sought to enlarge its non-arms manufacturing base and acquired Laurin & Klement in 1925. It also started manufacturing cars in cooperation with Hispano-Suiza. Most of the later production took place under Škoda’s name.
An assembly line was used for production from 1930 onwards. In the same year a formal spin-off of the car manufacture into a new company, Akciová společnost pro automobilový průmysl or abbreviated ASAP, took place. ASAP remained a wholly owned subsidiary of the Škoda Works and continued to sell cars under the Škoda marque. Apart from the factory in Mladá Boleslav it included also the firm’s representation, sales offices and services, as well as a central workshop in Prague. At the time, the car factory in Mladá Boleslav covered an area of 215,000 m2 and employed 3,750 blue-collar and 500 white-collar workers.
After a decline caused by the economic depression, Škoda introduced a new line of cars in the 1930s which significantly differed from its previous products. A new design of chassis with backbone tube and all-around independent suspension was developed under the leadership of chief engineer Vladimír Matouš and modelled on the one first introduced by Hans Ledwinka in Tatra. First used on model Škoda 420 Standard in 1933, it aimed at solving insufficient torsional stiffness of the ladder frame.
The new design of chassis became the basis for models
1934-44 Škoda 420 Popular Popular (845-1,089 cc),1934 Škoda Popular Kupé Rapid (1165–1766 cc),1936-41 Škoda Favorit (typ 904) limousine Favorit (1802–2091 cc) and the1939 Škoda Superb OHV Superb(2.5–4 l). While in 1933 Škoda had a 14% share of the Czechoslovak car market and occupied third place behind Praga and Tatra, the new line made it a market leader by 1936, with a 39% share in 1938.
World War II
During the occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II the Škoda Works were turned into part of the Reichswerke Hermann Göring serving the German war effort by producing components for military terrain vehicles, military planes, other weapon components and cartridge cases. Vehicle output decreased from 7,052 in 1939 to 683 in 1944, of which only 35 were passenger cars. A total of 316 trucks were produced between January and May 1945. The UK and US air forces bombed the Škoda works repeatedly between 1940 and 1945. The final massive air raid took place on 25 April 1945 and resulted in almost the complete destruction of the Škoda armament works and approximately 1,000 dead and injured.
Post World War II
Škoda 1101 Tudor Roadster (1949)
When, by July 1945, the Mladá Boleslav factory had been reconstructed, production of Škoda’s first post-World War II car, the 1101 series began. It was essentially an updated version of the pre-World War II Škoda Popular. In the autumn of 1948, Škoda (along with all other large manufacturers) became part of the communist planned economy, which meant it was separated from the parent company, Škoda Works. In spite of unfavourable political conditions and losing contact with technical development in non-communist countries, Škoda retained a good reputation until the 1960s, producing models such as the Škoda 440 Spartak, 445 Octavia, Felicia and Škoda 1000 MB.
Škoda Octavia Super (1960)
In late 1959, the Škoda Felicia, a compact four-cylinder convertible coupe, was imported into the United States for model year 1960. Its retail price was around US$2,700, for which one could purchase a nicely-equipped V8 domestic car that was larger, more comfortable, and had more luxury and convenience features (gasoline retailed for less than 30 cents per gallon, so fuel economy was not of primary importance in America at that time). Those Felicias that made it to American ownership soon experienced a number of reliability problems, further damaging the car’s reputation. The Felicia was therefore a poor seller in the States and leftover cars ended up being hied off at a fraction of the original retail list. Since that time, Škoda automobiles have not been imported into the U.S. for retail sale.
Škoda MB 1000 (1966)
In the late 1980s, Škoda (then named Automobilové závody, národní podnik or abbreviated AZNP) was still manufacturing cars that conceptually dated back to the 1960s. Rear-engined models such as the Škoda 105/120, Estelle and Rapid sold steadily and performed well against more modern makes in races such as the RAC Rally in the 1970s and 1980s. They won their class in the RAC rally for 17 years running. They were powered by a 130 brake horsepower (97 kW), 1,289 cubic centimetres (78.7 cu in) engine. In spite of its dated image and becoming the subject of negative jokes, Škodas remained a common sight on the roads of UK and Western Europe throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Sport versions of the Estelle and earlier models were produced, using the name “Rapid”. Soft-top versions were also available. The Rapid was once described as the “poor man’s Porsche”, and had significant sales success in the UK during the 1980s.
“Of course, that the Škoda became such a figure of fun was in part due to its ubiquity on Britain’s roads. The company must have been doing something right.”(from a BBC report on Škoda sales in 1980s)
In 1987 the1989 Skoda Favorit Bertone Favorit was introduced, and was one of a triumvirate of compact Western-influenced front-wheel drive hatchbacks from the three main Eastern Bloc manufacturers around that time, the others being VAZ‘s1993 Lada Samara 1500 Lada Samara and Zastava‘sYugo Sana. The Favorit’s appearance was the work of the Italian design company Bertone. With some motor technology licensed from western Europe, but still using the Škoda-designed 1289 cc engine, Škoda engineers designed a car comparable to western production. The technological gap was still there, but began closing rapidly. The Favorit was very popular in Czechoslovakia and other Eastern Bloc countries. It also sold well in Western Europe, especially in the UK and Denmark due to its low price and was regarded as solid and reliable. However, it was perceived as having poor value compared with contemporary Western European designs. The Favorit’s trim levels were improved and it continued to be sold until the introduction of the Felicia in 1994.
Volkswagen Group subsidiary
2015 Skoda Superb II
Škoda Auto is one of the largest car manufacturers in Central Europe. In 2014, 1.037.200 cars were sold worldwide, a record for the company
The fall of communism with the Velvet Revolution brought great changes to Czechoslovakia and most industries were subject to privatization. In the case of Škoda Automobile, the state authorities brought in a strong foreign partner. Volkswagen was chosen by the Czech government on 9 December 1990, and, as a result, on 28 March 1991 a joint-venture partnership agreement with Volkswagen took place, marked by the transfer of a 30% share to the Volkswagen Group on 16 April 1991. By this stage, Škoda was still making its outdated range of rear engine saloons, although it had started production of the Favorit front-wheel drive hatchback in 1988 as an eventual replacement.
In the following years, Škoda became the fourth brand of the German group, as the Volkswagen Group raised its equity share first on 19 December 1994, to 60.3%, followed on 11 December 1995, to 70%.
In the competition for Škoda, Volkswagen was pitted against French car-maker Renault, which lost out because its strategic plan did not include producing high-value models in the Czech factories; Renault proposed to manufacture the Renault Twingocity car in the Škoda factories.
At the time the decision was made, privatization to a major German company was somewhat controversial, since there was still anti-German sentiment lingering in the Czech Republic from WW2 and its aftermath. However, it could be argued that the subsequent fortunes of other Eastern-Bloc automobile manufacturers such as Lada, AutoVAZ, and of Škoda Works itself – once Škoda Auto’s parent company – suggested that Volkswagen’s involvement was not necessarily a result of poor judgement.
Backed by Volkswagen Group expertise and investments, the design — both style and engineering — has improved greatly. The 1994 modelFelicia was effectively a reskin of the Favorit, but quality and equipment improvements helped, and in the Czech Republic the car was perceived as good value for money and became popular. Sales improved across Europe, including the United Kingdom, where the Felicia was one of the best-ranking cars in customer satisfaction surveys.
2014 Skoda Octavia Combi RS (III) Octavia is the best selling Škoda
The perception of Škoda in Western Europe has completely changed since the takeover by VW, in stark comparison with the reputation of the cars throughout the 1980s—often described as “the laughing stock” of the automotive world. As technical development progressed and attractive new models were marketed, Škoda’s image was initially slow to improve. In the UK, a major turnabout was achieved with the ironic “It is a Škoda, honest” campaign, which began in 2000 when the Fabia launched. In a 2003 advertisement on British television, a new employee on the production line is fitting Škoda badges on the car bonnets. When some attractive looking cars come along he stands back, not fitting the badge, since they look so good they cannot be Škodas. This market campaign worked by confronting Škoda’s image problem head-on — a tactic which marketing professionals regarded as high risk. By 2005 Škoda was selling over 30,000 cars a year in the UK, a market share of over 1%. For the first time in its UK history, a waiting list developed for deliveries from Škoda. UK owners have consistently ranked the brand at or near the top of customer satisfaction surveys since the late 1990s.
Škoda Auto plant in Mladá Boleslav
2010 was a year of important changes for Škoda Auto, in terms of both products and management. On 1 September 2010, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland assumed responsibility for the management of the company, becoming the CEO of Škoda Auto. Under Vahland’s leadership, Škoda set forth plans to double the company’s annual sales to at least 1.5 million by 2018 (later known as the ‘Growth Strategy’, Czech: ‘Růstová strategie’).
At the 2010 Paris Motor Show in September 2010, the company unveiled the Octavia Green E Line. This e-car concept was the forerunner to the e-car test fleet that Škoda released in 2012. The final 1st-generation Octavia (Tour) was produced at the Mladá Boleslav plant in November 2010. The worldwide production of this model exceeded 1.4 million units since its release in 1996. In 2010 for the first time in history, China overtook German sales to become Škoda’s largest individual market.
In 2011, Škoda Auto celebrated its 20-year partnership with the Volkswagen Group. More than 75,000 visitors attended an open-house event held in Mladá Boleslav in the April. Earlier that year, the company provided details on its 2018 Growth Strategy: for at least one new or completely revised model to be released every six months. With this in mind, the company redesigned its logo and CI, which was presented at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Škoda’s main attraction at the event was the VisionD design concept; a forerunner to the future 3rd generation Octavia. Škoda presented the MissionL design study at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main in September, which was to become the basis of the company’s forthcoming compact model theEuropean Rapid.
In the same year, the company started production of the new Rapid model in Pune, India (October 2011), and launched the Citigo at Volkswagen’s Bratislava plant (November 2011).
In 2012 Škoda introduced an emission-free fleet of Octavia Green E Line e-cars on Czech roads to be used by external partners. Since internal tests on the fleet in late 2011, the e-fleet had driven more than 250,000 km. During the same year, Škoda celebrated several milestones, including fourteen million Škoda cars being produced since 1905 (January), three million Fabias (May), 500,000 Superbs at the Kvasiny plant (June ) and 5 years of Škoda operations in China.
Massive rejuvenation of the model range was a major tune for 2013 at Škoda: The Czech car maker launched the third-generation Octavia Combi and Octavia RS (both liftback and estate) as well as facelifted Superb and Superb Combi. They were accompanied by brand new members of the Rapid family as the Rapid Spaceback, the first Škoda hatchback car in the compact segment, and the Chinese version of the Rapid. The Yeti also faced significant changes. With the facelift, two design variants of Škoda’s compact SUV are now available: city-like Yeti and rugged Yeti Outdoor. Chinese customers were also given a Yeti with an extended wheelbase.
In 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed pollution-cheating software in many of its cars to fool regulators that its cars met emissions standards when in fact they polluted at much higher-levels than government standards. 1.2 million Skoda cars worldwide were fitted with this emissions-cheating device. Skoda stated that Volkswagen would recall and cover refitting costs for all of the cars affected by the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal.
In 2015 Škoda was voted the most dependable car brand in the UK. Škoda Auto is planning to manufacture a large, seven-seatSUVŠkoda Kodiaq, which should be a true off-roader and will be introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October 2016.
As of August 2016, Skoda was being sold in 102 countries with planned expansions to South Korea, Singapore and Iran within a year. The decision whether to expand into the North American market is planned to be made in 2017.
In 2015, new Škoda chairman Bernhard Maier stated that the Volkswagen Group “is working on a modular, new electric platform and we are in the team”, and that “there is no alternative to electrification.”The target of Škoda is to produce an electric car with a range of over 300 miles (480 km), 15-minute charging time and a cost below a comparative combustion-engine vehicle. New Škoda corporate “Strategy 2025”, which replaces the previous “Strategy 2018”, aims to start production of a fully electric vehicle in 2020 or 2021, after a plug-in hybrid Superb in 2019.
ŠKODA has maintained sound financial stability over recent years. In 2013 the brand achieved sales revenues totalling €10.3 billion (2012: €10.4 billion). Due to the weak economic situation in many European countries and the expansion of the ŠKODA model range, operating profit reached a modest 522 million euros (2012: €712 million). ŠKODA achieved a successful start to 2014: As well as recording the highest number of deliveries to customers in a first quarter ever (247,200; up 12.1%), ŠKODA recorded a significant increase in sales revenue (23.7%) to almost 3 billion euros. Operating profit increased 65.2% to 185 million Euros over the previous year.
In 2009, Škoda entered the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) for the first time, using the Fabia S2000, winning three rallies and finishing second in both the drivers and manufacturers championship. In 2010, Škoda won a total of seven IRC events winning both the manufacturers and driver championship for Juho Hänninen. These achievements were repeated in the following two seasons, with Andreas Mikkelsen as the drivers’ champion. In 2013, the Intercontinental Rally Challenge was merged with the European Rally Championship (ERC) and the team gained the drivers’ championship title once again for Jan Kopecký. The car was also raced by privateers in several championships, including Red Bull, Barwa, Rene Georges and Rufa in the 2010 Super 2000 World Rally Championship.
In August 2011, a special Škoda Octavia vRS set the world record at the Bonneville Speedway and became the fastest car in the world with an engine up to two litres, when it hit 227 mph (365 km/h). The current fastest production Škoda car is the Škoda Superb III, with a top speed of 250 km/h (160 mph) and an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 5.8 seconds.
In 1923, two different trademarks were registered at the Office for Innovation and Model Registration in Plzeň. The first depicted a winged arrow pointing to the right with five feathers in a circle and the second was a winged arrow with three feathers. The famous winged arrow with three feathers still forms the Škoda logo today. The ŠKODA text was added to the logo in 1936. The arrow represents speed, the wings progress and freedom, the eye precision and the circle unity, completeness, world and harmony.