Skoda is a Czech automobile manufacturer founded in 1895 as Laurin & Klement. Its headquarters are in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic. In 1925 Laurin & Klement was acquired by the industrial conglomerate Skoda Works, which itself became state owned in 1948. After 1991 it was gradually privatized and in 2000 Skoda became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. Skoda automobiles are sold in over 100 countries and in 2017, total global sales reached 1.21 million units, an increase of 6.6% from the previous year, As of 2017, Skoda's profit margin was the second highest of all VW Group brands after Porsche. The Skoda Works were established as an arms manufacturer in 1859. Skoda Auto is one of the five oldest companies producing cars and has an unbroken history alongside Daimler, Opel, Peugeot and Tatra.