Unlike fellow Eastern-bloc manufacturers such as Lada-AutoVAZ, and Zastava, Škoda has been fortunate in having been taken over by a major western corporation. Since 1991, VAG has invested billions of dollars into the once beleaguered company and has transformed Škoda's image almost overnight with a range of new, VW-developed models.
During the 1980s and early 90s, Škodas had a poor reputation. Since being purchased by VAG, the design - both style and engineering - has improved greatly and Škoda now use this reputation as part of their advertising, with the slogan: 'It is a Skoda, honest.' In a 2003 advertisement on British television, a new employee on the production line is fitting Škoda badges on the car bonnets. When some attractive looking cars come along he stands back, not fitting the badge, since they are too good to be Škodas. Some British owners of the Škoda Octavia have even gone as far as to fit VW badges to it, to avoid embarrassment. In fact, the Octavia is engineered by VW, and is mechanically similar to the VW Passat and Audi A4.