Skoda Auto India Private Limited is an Indian subsidiary of Europe''s number one automaker, Volkswagen. Skoda Works was established as an arms manufacturer in 1859, but did not develop automobiles. The company started off by manufacturing bicycles. The fall of communism with the Velvet Revolution brought great changes to Czechoslovakia, and most industries were subject to privatisation. In the case of Skoda Automobile the government brought in a strong foreign partner. Volkswagen was chosen in 1990 and, in April, 1991, Skoda became the fourth brand of the Volkswagen Group.
Backed by Volkswagen Group expertise and investments, the design - both style and engineering - has improved greatly. Skoda has been in India for almost a decade and enjoys a premium position among its competitors. Skoda came to India with Octavia in 2002. Octavia is still sold in India but sadly Skoda hasn''t updated it in all these years. Octavia''s Estate version and the Octavia Combi could not attract attention of the consumers and hence these were withdrawn by the company.
By 2005 Skoda 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 by the company. Skoda owners in the UK have consistently ranked the brand at or near the top of the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey during the 2000s.
As of 2010, Skoda has several manufacturing and assembly plants, including one in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Skoda also has an assembly plant in the city of Aurangabad, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra which was established in 2001 as Skoda India Private Ltd.
In 2006 Skoda presented its brand new model Roomster, which is a small MPV with a unique design, which reflects future trends. At the end of December 2006 Skoda released the first official pictures of the new Fabia, a model that would replace the Fabia in 2007.
Later in 2008, the company released the first pictures of the face-lifted Octavia with new headlights, front grille and bumper, as well as a slightly restyled rear and interior. The revised car also features a new selection of engines including the 1.4 TFSI and new common rail diesel engines.
A new concept car was presented at the Paris Auto Show in September 2006. The concept was called Joyster, a three-door compact car intended especially for young people.
Volkswagen Group''s Australian arm, Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA), recently announced that they would be returning Skoda, last sold in Australia in 1983, to the Australian car market in October, 2007. As of 2010 the Octavia, Roomster and Superb are available in Australia.
Skoda brought in its flagship car, Superb in 2004. The car underwent a facelift in 2009 when a ''7-star'' Superb was launched. Skoda launched the Laura in 2005 and it too got a fresh look in 2009. It launched a hatchback, Fabia, at the Auto Expo 2008 in Delhi which is well appreciated for its ride quality. The automaker sells its cars through around 70 dealers in 50 cities in India. Skoda cars are known for their world-class build quality and safety features. The company currently manufactures its cars in the Aurangabad plant.