Vaclav Laurin Success Story
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. The same can be said for Václav Laurin and Václav Klement.Destiny played a great role in making the future of both of them. It was the time in 1894, when Vaclav Klement, a 26 year old bookseller was not able to obtain spare parts for his bicycle in order to repair it. He decided to return it to the manufacturers for repair. And in return, he got a letter from them stating that if he wanted to have an inquiry with us, please write us in the language we can understand.
This was a frustrating time for Klement. After getting this reply from the manufacturers, he decided to open his own repair shop without having a technical experience. He opened a repair shop with Vaclav Laurin in 1895. Laurin had been already in bicycle manufacturing business, before doing a partnership with Klement. Both of them were bicycle enthusiasts. They started manufacturing bicycles with their own design. By the year 1898, they had opened a factory of their own and also bought a Werner motor cyclette, which was produced by Werner Brothers.
The first motor cyclette made by them proved dangerous and unreliable. In the year 1899, the determined duo produced a new motorcycle and soon started producing motorcycles under Laurin & Klement Co. The motorcycles produced by them gained many victories. The first wining event for the two was the Paris-Berlin motorcycle race in the year 1901. The company moved into car racing in the year 1911 and went on to win many successful victories.
The two visionaries then started getting orders from outside of Bohemia. It made them more motivated when they realized the potential it had. The company was also registered on the stock exchange and the two started getting appreciation for their work in many areas till then. Klement was the General Manager and Laurin was the Technical Manager in the company. In a very short span of time, the company employed around 600 workers. The satellite offices of the company existed in Vienna, Budapest and Prague. Laurin and Klement started exhibiting their cars and soon they were successful in their business. They start getting appreciation from the public.
As a result of the success in motorcycles, they replaced the manufacturing of motorcycles with automobiles. After the First World War, they started producing trucks. In 1924, after hit by fire, the company was acquired by Skoda Works. The duo appointed one of the company’s men as the factory manager of the company. The vehicles produced by the merger were sold under the name of Laurin & Klement – Skoda. After becoming part of the Skoda, the company continued to focus on the motorsport.
Skoda Works was a manufacturer of arms and one of the biggest industrial enterprises in Czechoslovakia. All the later productions by the pair were under the Skoda name. Skoda became popular in the 1930s by producing very successful automobiles in the market.