Happy birthday Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia, revealed 20 years ago, has gone on to achieve five million sales worldwide.

The Skoda Octavia, revealed 20 years ago, has gone on to achieve five million sales worldwide. - Credit: Skoda

The Skoda Octavia, one of the most successful model series in the automotive world, made its debut 20 years ago.

Since 1996, the Octavia has become a worldwide hit and is still the traditional Czech car-maker's best-selling model, instrumental in the successful development of the Skoda brand.

In the 20 years since its debut, five million customers have opted for one of the various Octavia models over its three generations. Its combination of above-average space, modern engines and safety features at an attractive price was the inspiration for all the brand's later models.

Development of the Octavia began a year after the Czech brand joined the Volkswagen Group in 1991. The hatchback was revealed in 1996, followed by the first Octavia estate in 1998 with a four-wheel drive estate a year later.

Skoda revived the Octavia name from a model range of which it produced 364,000 units between 1959 and 1964. The Latin word 'octavia' means 'the eighth', relating to Skoda's eighth automobile of the 'modern era' with independent suspension following the debut of this technology in 1933.


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As well as being built in the Czech Republic, Octavia is also produced in China, India, Russia and Kazakhstan.

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