June 24, 2011
Skoda is no laughing matter…..anymore 0
Many would describe Skoda as a ‘laughing stock’ years ago. Have things changed? Well it appears that the Czechoslovakian company have completely turned that stigma around and buried all the jokes. The car has since then seen great success and also gained a much improved reputation.
Where did it all start? In the 1920’s Skoda rolled out their first cars, which gained the company popularity and respect as the cars were built to a good standard, but things were change later on in the century. Due to clashes and difference of opinion in the West plus that the fact that the quality of cars were not as good as those already in the West, Skoda began to decline.
Ammunition for Skoda’s reputation to fall came about with its car’s being dreadfully designed and containing poor mechanical “errors”. The company found it difficult to compete with other car manufacturers. Skoda car’s performance, design and the overall quality of the build were not up to the standard as those in the West. Western car companies were superior when comparing these specific features.
Skoda changed their strategy. The plan was to make cars which came at a low-cost. Cars developed under this strategy could be described as ‘comical disasters’. The Skoda Estelle was a prime example, travelling from 0-60mph in a ridiculously slow time of 14.2 seconds. The car was built poorly and drivers had an awful driving experience.
How have things turned around so rapidly and dramatically since? A huge takeover from Volkswagen in the 1990’s seemed to catapult Skoda into building a solid foundation for the future. Philosophies changed in terms of quality of the vehicles being produced. The Estelle model (which was mentioned earlier in the article) was dropped and abandoned. The introduction of models such as the Felicia was an indication of how well the company has improved its engineering. The Felicia was especially popular due to it being considered excellent value for money.
Throughout the following years, Skoda’s reputation would improve so much that their advertising campaign would essentially use comedy to bury the companies’ old ridicule and mockery. These adverts proved popular and iconic for Skoda. Unconvinced customers were turned by the clever advertising campaign. Cars such as the Octavia and Fabia were very successful within the UK market after being introduced in the 1990’s, achieving regular high sales further on into the next decade. Amazingly history was created when there was a UK waiting list for Skoda cars, in 2005.
It’s not often, especially in recent times, where car companies make show resilience and recover so brightly after being in such a crisis.
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