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Skoda's new Museum

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8th July, 2012

Following completion of an extensive renovation in December 2012, visitors will be able to experience the history, development and production of the long-standing Czech automobile manufacturer hands-on. Skoda wants the redesigned museum to allow people to learn about the origins of today’s global brand. The new museum is housed in one of the first Skoda factory buildings.

Together, Skoda and city of Mladá Boleslav firmly belong as the integral part of the European automobile industry. The museum reopening underlines once again how important Skoda’s history is to its current brand identity. Highlights of Czech engineering expertise will be on display over an area of 1,800 m2, including around 45 automobiles, bicycles and motorcycles as well as a wide range of other exhibits from the company’s history.

The exhibition incorporates the latest interaction and communications findings to present Skoda history from different angles and appeal to the broadest-possible target audience. Additional restored Škoda vehicles will be regularly integrated into the exhibition. Alternating exhibits in this way will allow constant new discoveries and surprises, and encourage visitors to return to the museum, located adjacent to the brand’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav. Additional special exhibitions and an attractive supplementary programme will ensure that the museum makes a lively contribution to Skoda corporate culture and public life in Mladá Boleslav.

Margit Adamová Černá, head of the Škoda Museum, explains: “Skoda’s rich past will not only be presented in depth in the new museum, but also brought to life in an emotional way for the first time.” 

The realignment of the Skoda Museum will also play a key role in brand communications. The museum’s attractive design and clear structure reflect the Skoda brand’s core values: a focus on the essential, a people-centred approach and the element of surprise in “simply clever” details.

Visitors can experience a fascinating selection of historic Skoda vehicles in the new Skoda Museum and familiarise themselves with the main phases in the development of the automobile.

Three topic areas bring history, development and location to life

The Skoda Museum will be divided into three areas that guide the visitor through the history of the company and its vehicle development:

  • Automotive “gems” from different eras will be on display in the “Tradition” section. The visitor will find not only attractive cars, but also inspiring contrasts. Different Skoda brand values are highlighted under the headings “What drives us”, “What is important to us” and “What challenges us”. Historic vehicles are displayed in pairs to show visitors trends in automotive development. Further exhibits in display cases, wall charts and a permanent video presentation provide additional information to back up these impressions.
  • In the “Evolution” section, the tour of Skoda history begins with company founders Václav Klement and Václav Laurin. Skoda vehicles presented in chronological order illustrate the most important milestones in vehicle development. Displayed on “shelves”, a collection of automotive icons provides visitors with an impressive overview of alternative vehicle exhibits. The room also features a parallel series of images and exhibits showcasing Skoda’s technical history. Media installations, films and interactive boards offer additional explanation of the exhibits. A so-called “SkodaLab” also provides a glimpse of the future, while the adjacent library allows more in-depth research into the brand’s history.
  • The third major exhibition area is all about “Production” and restoration, focusing on Mladá Boleslav’s key role as central production location and wellspring of the company’s tradition. In the “Workshop”, automobiles from earlier days are restored using the latest methods. Four raised platforms display cars in various stages of restoration – from “barn finds” to “gems“, with additional exhibits presented on a workbench. Large-scale picture panels, flip albums and projections bring the historic production facility to life. A panorama cinema offers an up-close experience of modern-day production.

Multifunctional design with space for large-scale events

The L&K hall in the heart of the museum is a multifunctional auditorium with 930 m2 of space for events and special exhibitions. This function room can be expanded and opened up to the “Tradition” and “Production” exhibition areas.

The foyer is also multifunctional in design and can host smaller receptions. The new Skoda Museum also features a museum shop and a bright and modern café-restaurant.

History of ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav

  • 1965 - Initial plans, first exhibition
    Initial plans for an exhibition of historic Skoda automobiles from the AZNP: First presentation of motorcycles and automobiles as part of a permanent exhibition in the “Sbor” - the church/prayer house of the Czech Brethren in Mladá Boleslav.
  • 1968 - Project work begins on the new museum
    The AZNP began with concrete plans for a museum, which would also include two depositories, a restoration workshop, an archive, a library and a conference hall.
  • 1973 - 1974 - Construction of new “Autosalon”
    Construction of the museum known as the “Autosalon”: From the original plans, only one large exhibition area remained, which later also had to be reduced in size. As a result, many of the vehicles which had been planned for exhibition had to be temporarily stored in barns or even outdoors.
  • 1995 - Opening of new ŠKODA Museum
    Plans for a modern ŠKODA Museum progressed rapidly under Volkswagen's ownership. The first Skoda Museum opened in September 1995 along Václava Klementa road. The museum included an archive and restoration workshop with depositary alongside the exhibition area.
  • 1996 - Expansion
    A large conference hall was added to the museum. The Skoda Octavia presentation in July was the first product presentation on these premises.
  • 2009 - 2012 - Museum redesign approved and implemented
    After almost 15 years of operation, in which the museum welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors (60% from the Czech Republic and Germany), a totally new concept for the Skoda Museum was approved and implemented. The premises and technical equipment were to be modernised. The presentation of the collection was to be optimised using the latest museum methods and communications techniques, with 1,800 m2 of exhibition space available. A 930 m2 multifunctional auditorium located at the centre of the museum will provide additional space for events and special exhibitions. Around 45 automobiles, bicycles and motorcycles will be displayed, as well as a large number of smaller “secondary exhibits”.


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