The Czech car manufacturer Skoda is modestly increasing its market share in New Zealand and today celebrates the sale of its 1000th car this year.

Skoda has a hard time in the New Zealand market due to the Kiwi preference for larger cars and particularily SUVs.

The company, once a risible laughing stock associated with Soviet-era lemons, has turned it's reputation around in recent years. AA has named SKODA as a top 10 candidate for the New Zealand Motoring Writers Guild Car of the Year Award - adding to the 'WhatCar?' and Red Dot Design Awards won earlier this year.

Globally, the company is celebrating the strongest sales month in the company's history.

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Founded in 1895, Skoda were a reputable manufacterer until the late 1950s when they were curtained under the soviet planned economy. The first cars to hit United States' shores were expensive, unreliable and sold terribly.

In the 1980s, the company's cars were still a throwback to the 1960s in their engineering and style.

In the early 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the german company Volkswagen took ownership of the company and immediately ceased the seemingly backward design on the vehicles. Since then, the cars have sold as a cheaper alternative to Volkswagen while their reliability and reputation have drastically increased.

2013 was a milestone for the company when they not only released great profit earnings, their vehicles were also named the best car to own on the UK's Driver Power rankings, based on a poll of over 46,000 car owners.

The New Zealand market should offer an even better year in 2017, with Skoda launching the Kodiaq, a full-sized seven seater SUV - the kind of vehicle that rings a tune with New Zealand car owners.