Škoda Works

Škoda Works

:"For the car manufacturer, see Škoda Auto"Infobox_Company
company_name = Škoda Holding
company_type = Private
foundation = 1859
location = Plzeň, Czech Republic
key_people =
num_employees = 3,600
industry = Conglomerates
products = turbines
electric locomotives
low-floor trams
underground trains
revenue = profit 262 million (2005) | homepage = [http://www.skoda.cz/ www.skoda.cz]

Škoda Works (Czech: "Škodovy závody"; today Škoda Holding, a.s. plus a variety of small companies in the Czech and Slovak republics whose names still contain the name Škoda) was the largest industrial enterprise in Austria-Hungary and later in Czechoslovakia, one of its successor states. It was also one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Europe in the 20th century.


The company was founded by the noble family Waldstein in 1859 and was bought by Emil Škoda in Plzeň in 1869. It soon established itself as Austria-Hungary's leading arms manufacturer. It produced among others heavy guns for the navy, mountain guns or mortars as well as locomotives, aircraft, ships, machine tools, steam turbines and equipment for power utilities.

Before and during WWII

Škoda manufactured the world's first triple-barrelled gun turrets for the "Tegetthoff" class of battleships of the Austro-Hungarian navy. Prior to World War II Škoda also produced "LT-35" and "LT-38" tanks, which are better known under their German labels "Panzer 35(t)" and "Panzer 38(t)". These tanks were originally produced for the Czechoslovak army and their production continued during the occupation by Nazi Germany. They were used extensively by the Wehrmacht in the Polish campaign, the Battle of France and also in German invasion of the Soviet Union.

After WWII

After WWII, in 1945 (the year when nationalisation efforts began in Czechoslovakia and when the Communists started to come to power) Škoda was nationalized and many sections were split from the company (e.g. the car works in Mladá Boleslav - Škoda Auto, the aircraft plant in Prague, some factories in Slovakia, and other plants producing food-industry equipment). The company was renamed "Závody Vladimíra Iljiče Lenina" ("Vladimir Lenin Plants") in 1951, but since the new name caused losses of sales abroad, the name was changed back to Škoda in 1953. The factory concentrated on markets in Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. The company had produced wide range of heavy machinery (such as nuclear reactors and locomotives). Lack of updates to its product designs and infrastructure had considerably weakened the company's competitive position and its brand.

Since 1962 Škoda became well known in the USSR and other countries as a trolley bus manufacturer, beginning to export Škoda 9 Tr, one of its most successful trolley buses. The successor, Škoda 14 Tr, manufactured between 1982 and 1997, is still widely used, for example, in post-Soviet states.

In 1978 the company was turned into the government-owned group of companies ("koncern") Škoda. It was based in Plzeň and consisted of the companies: První brněnská strojírna [First Machine Works of Brno] , ČKD Blansko, ČKD Dukla Praha-Karlín in Prague, Slovenské energetické strojárne S. M. Kirova [Slovak S. M. Kirov Energy Machine Works] in Tlmače, and Výzkumný ústav energetických zařízení [Energy Facilities Research Institute] in Brno.

After the communist party lost power in late 1989, the company was privatized into the hands of management. Mismanagement and assets stripping led to collapse - the company was restructured and some factories closed. Except for some smaller companies named Škoda and Škoda Auto, after the chaotic 1990s period the Czech Škoda companies were put together (again) within the holding company Škoda Holding, a.s. in 2000.

Present production

Power section is producing steam turbines or heat exchangers and condensers.

Transportation section is producing trolleybuses, tramcars, electric locomotives, electric multiple units or rapid transit trainsets.

See also


External links

* [http://www.skoda.cz/skoda-holding Official website]
* History of Škoda in photos: [http://pell-mell.webz.cz/1870%201900.htm part 1] , [http://pell-mell.webz.cz/1900%201938.htm part 2] , [http://pell-mell.webz.cz/1939%201969.htm part 3] (photo descriptions in Czech)

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