In 1859 a machine and weapons factory was founded in Pilsen, Czech Republic, under the name Skoda. In 1895, technician Vclav Laurin and bookseller Vclav Klement founded a bicycle factory in Mlada Boleslav. In 1899 they also produced motorcycles and from 1905 also cars under the name Laurin & Klement. In 1925 L&K and Skoda merged and from 1926 the vehicles were sold as Skoda. Until the Second World War, Skoda produced very modern cars, but after the war it became a state-owned company and Skoda suffered greatly from the communist planned economy from a technical point of view.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Skoda was privatized in 1989 and in 1991 the Volkswagen Group acquired 30 percent of the shares. In 2000 the brand was wholly owned by VW. Within a few years, Skoda built up an excellent reputation with cars based on Volkswagen technology.
The Skoda logo was introduced in 1926, after the merger of L&K and Skoda. It does not represent a baseball glove, Indian headdress or bird, but an arrow with a wing and symbolizes progress.