Škoda Auto, more commonly known as Škoda, is a Czech automobile manufacturer founded in 1895 as Laurin & Klement. It is headquartered in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. In 1925 Laurin & Klement was acquired by Škoda Works which itself became state owned during the days of the communist government. After 1991 it was gradually privatized and in 2000 Škoda became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. Initially, the company was meant to serve the role of the VW Group’s entry brand. Over time, however, the Škoda brand has shifted progressively more upmarket, with most models overlapping with their Volkswagen counterparts on price and features, while eclipsing them on space. Its total global sales reached 1.13 million cars in 2016 and had risen annually by 6.8 percent, profit had risen by 6.5% in 2015.