Discussion in 'Miscellaneous (Czech-Related)' started by Geleen, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Geleen

    Geleen Active Member

    While I was reading one of these topics, a question came up about Skoda cars. I've heard that since they united with Wolksvagen, the quality of Skoda cars has improved a lot. What Czechs themselves think about Skodas?
  2. metric

    metric Well-Known Member

    I am not a Czech, but I have owned Škodas for many years. I presently have an Š120 (as well as a Tatra 603).

    In my opinion any bad reputation of the pre-1990 Škoda is undeserved. These are sturdy dependable cars, easy to maintain and repair with a minimum of tooling or specialised knowledge.

    Development of the rear-engined cars, starting with the 1964 1000MB and ending in 1990, was progressive and sensible. The cars kept pace with the times better than any other make from the Communist countries. In addition, the Škoda was a home-grown product, engineered and manufactured entirely in Czechoslovakia; not a license-built Western car (like the Polski and Lada) or a held-over pre-war design (like the Trabant and Wartburg).

    The front-wheel-drive Favorit of 1988 was another great success story. This car was again brought from conception to production entirely by Czechoslovaks (body styling was done by Bertone in Italy). When VW acquired the company in 1990, the car was not changed: it was produced until 1994. VW used the Favorit's engine and other mechanical components, direct descendants of those used in the 1964 1000MB, in the Felica until 1996.

    One needs only to drive the rural roads of the Czech Republic to see that there are thousands of pre-1990 Škodas still in use. Some (but not all) are a bit shabby, but any rear-engined Škoda is at least 15 years old by now, and many of those on Czech roads are 25 or 30 years old.

    Czech industry in general and the Czech automotive industry in particular are perceived from the West as through a screen of ignorance and misinformation (my opinion only, of course).
  3. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Metric, you know a lot about Czech cars and wonder whether you'd be able to tell me something about the pre-war Aero (a small sport car) made in the thirties. It was Czech-made but I can't remember whether by Skoda or another manufacturer. Thanks.
  4. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    I know a substantial amount about cars, but I always thought Skodas were made in Italy :?
    LOL......well now I know they are Czech. :D
    I don't really have an opinion considering I would probably only see only one a year in Australia......
  5. fabik317

    fabik317 Well-Known Member

    Eva, Aero is a make of its own - it isn't in any way connected with Skoda.
    Now they only make airplanes but before the war they also made cars. Similary, Avia was originally also an airplane maker (hence the name) but now they only produce trucks.

    Info on Aero: (in czech)
  6. Geleen

    Geleen Active Member

    Thanks for the information!

    Metric says:
    One needs only to drive the rural roads of the Czech Republic to see that there are thousands of pre-1990 Škodas still in use.

    Yes, I've seen that but as much as I know, Skodas should be quite cheap, so that might be also a reason?

    And compared with the other European cars (Peugeot, Ford and so on), how good are newer Skodas?
  7. metric

    metric Well-Known Member

    Here is a link to Aero Vodochody's main site: .

    There's a brief history of Avia in English here:

    Auta5p is a very good site for Czech auto histories. There's a page about postwar Aeros in English here: and a Czech version of the text here: ... ?vstkap=25 .

    There are few Aeros in North America. I know of one in the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville Tennessee. This museum is also home of the largest Tatra collection outside Europe.
  8. metric

    metric Well-Known Member

    Sure. Another reason is that there were not many other cars available in those days.

    Contemporary Škodas are rebadged VWs made in Mladá Boleslav and Vrchlabi. (Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much). There's virtually nothing remaining in these cars of the Czechoslovak Škodas of the 1980s and 1990s. The quality of the cars being built today is on a par with VWs built at any of their other factories.
  9. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

  10. I have owned three skodas, they were fine machines, the joke image of them (and also Ladas) was perpetuated by the Western car industry to discourage people from purchasing them, and therefore encouraging the comsumer to buy their more expensive cars.
  11. Tristan

    Tristan Active Member

    I drive a Skoda, it's my second one. She's an Octavia, royal green, and her name is Lucky. :D
    I know that reputation of that brand wasn't that good during the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia, and I know that today some people think that Skoda is basically a VW clone, but I was always very sattisfied with my Skodas. They never failed me, and I remember driving by many Mercedes' and BMW's standing along the road, with smoke comming out of their hoods...
  12. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Is it possible that at some level the Skoda reputation is marred simply by the meaning of the word?
  13. metric

    metric Well-Known Member

    I really don't think so. So very few people outside the Czech lands have any idea what the word means. The Czechs I've spoken with seem not to think about the additional meaning much: it seems to be just another homonym.

    It's not the name I'd choose for marketing a product.
  14. Tristan

    Tristan Active Member

    I doubt that "branding" was even a word back when "Skoda" was founded...
  15. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    Since VW purchased Skoda quality has improved substantially.

    It never ceases to amaze me that just because its owned by a 'quality' manufacturer the price rises. Here in the UK, Skoda prices do not reflect the actual build cost of the car, which is substantially lower than many cheaper cars on the market of the same size. (But thats good marketing.)
    We can purchase a cheaper French car with a higher labour cost, than a Skoda with very much cheaper labour costs.
    But be that they are owned by a company with no emotional attatchment to the country they are looking at even cheaper places to build cars.....Skoda have made substantial investments in India and they will shortly have a huge car plant there. The labour cost is minute compared to Germany, and miniscule compared to CZ.
    VW couldn't be seen to move production from Germany to India as it would not be politically correct. VW is a German company through and through....but they would suffer no internal backlash by moving Skoda. And making a few VWs on the line would be easy, as stated before most of the Skoda is a VW.
    Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota are just starting to produce cars in other manufacturers will be looking for a price advantage. Skoda have found it.
    Thats not to say all Skoda production will cease in CZ.....they will keep a small investment there, perhaps parts distribution, but in 20 yrs time i predict Skoda will be CZ in name only, made in India.
    Dont believe me? Check the history of Vauxhall a UK manufacturer purchased by General Motors.
    Money talks.
    My spell checker doesn't.

  16. metric

    metric Well-Known Member

    Ever the Škoda apologist, I'd suggest that automotive quality in general has improved substantially over the fifteen years since VW's conquest of Škoda.

    Safe to say, 'cause we'll never know, but it's possible that Škoda would have made the same improvement without VW's "help".
  17. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    Ilived in New Zealand for a few years in the 70s..... Skoda was assembled there from kits. I'm sorry to say that the quality was awful. Fact.
    In the Uk they have a very bad name from the 80s.....backed up by the number of times the breakdown rescue people would be called to a certain type of car.
    However like my mum used to get what you pay for. So if you wanted a small cheap car that was easy to fix and cheap to run and fix and didnt mind a few days inconvenience once in a while....Skoda!!!

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