History: 125 years of ŠKODA and four generations of the OCTAVIA

› 2020 sees ŠKODA, one of the world’s five oldest car manufacturers still producing vehicles, celebrate the anniversary of the company’s founding in 1895
› Fourth modern-day generation of the OCTAVIA continues the model’s unique success story
› More than seven million vehicles since 1996 clearly make the model range ŠKODA’s bestseller

By launching the fourth modern-day generation of its bestseller, the OCTAVIA, onto the market in 2020, ŠKODA is perfectly commemorating its 125th anniversary. In 1895, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded a company which today, as ŠKODA AUTO, is one of the five oldest car manufacturers in the world still producing vehicles. In 1905 they presented their first automobile, in 1959 the first OCTAVIA came onto the scene. Relaunched in 1996, this range has become quintessentially ŠKODA and its sales figures of more than seven million units across all modern-day generations produced confirm that it is the brand’s absolute bestseller.

125 years of ŠKODA AUTO: the manufacturer celebrates many important anniversaries in 2020

The ŠKODA OCTAVIA started its success story in 1959, as the brand’s eighth model after the Second World War. Its name, which means ‘the eighth’ in Latin, also represents it being the eighth ŠKODA to feature the state-of-the-art independent suspension for all wheels that the Czech manufacturer had introduced in 1933. In 1961 the first OCTAVIA COMBI followed, which was produced until 1971. A total of 360,000 OCTAVIAs were built, including more than 54,000 COMBIs. Three consecutive class victories at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in 1961, 1962 and 1963 made the sporty OCTAVIA TS world famous.



When the first modern-day edition was launched in April 1996, the OCTAVIA then became synonymous with the entire brand. The distinctive hatchback featuring a large tailgate was followed by the even more spacious OCTAVIA COMBI in March 1998, which was particularly successful in Europe. In 1999, the all-wheel-drive variant was added to the range, and in 2000 the first OCTAVIA RS arrived on the scene. By November 2010, 970,000 hatchbacks and more than 470,000 estates had been made. This success was topped by the second generation: 1.7 million hatchbacks and 870,000 OCTAVIA COMBIs rolled off the line between 2004 and 2013. In addition to an even higher level of utility, technical innovations such as petrol engines with direct injection and the use of automatic dual-clutch transmissions (DSGs) made this model impressive. The third‑generation OCTAVIA debuted in November 2012 and was given a comprehensive update in February 2017. In total, more than 2.5 million customers opted for a car from this OCTAVIA generation, taking the number of produced vehicles across all generations since its revival in 1996 to more than 7 million.

ŠKODA OCTAVIA COMBI 1. generation (1998)

ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS 1. generation (2000)

ŠKODA OCTAVIA 2. generation (2004)

125 years ago: Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded the company

The ŠKODA success story began in 1895 when Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded the company and successfully manufactured bicycles and motorcycles. Just ten years later, in 1905, they presented their first automobile, the Voiturette A. Fast forward 115 years, and ŠKODA is now active in more than 100 markets and delivered 1.24 million vehicles to customers around the globe in 2019. Throughout 2020, numerous activities, campaigns and events will not only pay tribute to the company’s roots but also to major anniversaries for important models in the company’s history: the ŠKODA 935 Dynamic from 1935, the first ŠKODA OCTAVIA COMBI from 1961, the ŠKODA 110 R from 1970 and the first ŠKODA FABIA COMBI from 2000. At the same time, ŠKODA is consistently pressing ahead with its electromobility campaign, which began in 2019, and will have launched 30 new models by the end of 2022, more than ten of which will be partially or fully electrified.

125 Jahre ŠKODA AUTO: 2020 feiert der Hersteller viele bedeutende Jubiläen

125 Jahre ŠKODA AUTO: 2020 feiert der Hersteller viele bedeutende Jubiläen



Follow us at https://twitter.com/skodaautonews for the latest news. Find out all about the new ŠKODA OCTAVIA with #SkodaOctavia.



Hermann Prax
Head of Product Communications
T +420 734 298 173

Zbyněk Straškraba
Product Communications
T +420 326 811 785

Additional info