Wikov, a Czechoslovak producer of agricultural machinery, which also produced a range of automobiles in the 1920s and 1930s celebrates its 100-year anniversary in 2018!
We are right to be proud of this event, and we realize that it is primarily we, the company’s employees, who predetermine whether the Wikov brand will be preserved for the next generation or not. We believe that it will.
On exactly 22 December 1918 the company Prostějovské továrny na stroje Wichterle & Kovářík, a joint-stock company, was founded. This merger resulted in the largest Czechoslovak plant for the production of agricultural machinery. The factory occupied an area of 250,000 square meters and employed 2,000 workers and 150 clerks.
The range of products offered was extremely wide: small hand tools, ploughs, threshing machines, potato lifters, steam locomotives, stable diesel, gasoline, gas engines and generators to drive mills, workshops, and smaller plants. In 1922, when the owners of Wikov brought back an Italian Ansaldo car from their visit to a Viennese exhibition, cars were added to the product range. Although their production represented less than 10% of the total volume of production, most of the cars were originals tailored to the needs of the customer. For example, Tomáš Baťa had a sleeping car for his journeys from Zlín to Prague manufactured here. Therefore, many cars remained only in prototype, e.g. the 1931 Drop, the first aerodynamic car in Czechoslovakia. After World War II in 1946, Wikov was nationalized and renamed Agrozet, k.p. and later Agrostroj Prostějov st. p.
The Wikov brand was revived in 2004 by Martin Wichterle, when he renamed the newly acquired companies ČKD Hronov and Škoda Gear from Pilsen as Wikov MGI a.s. and Wikov Gear s.r.o. This is how the modern history of the company began to be written. Today it is part of the Wikov Industry engineering group; in addition to the aforementioned companies, it also includes Wikov Sázavan s.r.o. (formerly Strojírny Sázavan, and even earlier Baťův výrobní podnik) from Zruč nad Sázavou, the design office Orbital2 Ltd. and, last but not least, Detail CZ s.r.o. from Žirovnice and Jemnice. All of the aforementioned companies are engaged in engineering production, the core products of the group are mechanical gearboxes and gears for a wide range of industries. The Wikov Industry Group exports more than 75% of its production abroad, employs over 920 workers and its sales are around CZK 1.8 billion.
The Wikov Group is full of renowned Czech brands, be it Škoda, Baťa, ČKD or Wikov. All the more, we are aware that the history and the craft of our ancestors is part of our corporate culture. After all, gearboxes were being produced in Pilsen already in 1918, in a separate company specializing in this production. Some of the cars that Wikov produced in the 20s and 30s in Prostějov are now restored and installed directly in the administrative building.
We are aware of the fact that we cannot live only from history, therefore, we invest regularly in the research and development of new products, progressive technologies and management systems so that we are always on the cutting edge of our industry.
We proudly take care of the Wikov brand so that following generations will be able to celebrate the next 100 years of its existence.
For some of the nicest collection of Wikov automobiles feel free to visit Veteran Arena in Olomouc: http://www.veteranarena.cz/en/