Škoda Auto a.s. (Czech pronunciation: [ˈʃkoda] (About this soundlisten)), often shortened to Škoda, is a Czech automobile manufacturer founded in 1895 as Laurin & Klement and headquartered in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic.
In 1925 Laurin & Klement was acquired by the industrial conglomerate Škoda Works, which itself became state owned in 1948. After 1991 it was gradually privatized to the German Volkswagen Group, becoming a subsidiary in 1994 and a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2000.
Škoda automobiles are sold in over 100 countries and in 2018, total global sales reached 1.25 million units, an increase of 4.4% from the previous year. The operating profit was €1.6 billion in 2017, an increase of 34.6% over the previous year. As of 2017, Škoda’s profit margin was the second highest of all Volkswagen AG brands after Porsche.
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