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Karosa a.s.
Industry buses
Founded 1948
Headquarters Vysoké Mýto, Czech Republic
Area served
Products Buses
Owner Iveco
Website www.karosa.cz

Karosa (Továrna na Kočáry, Automobily, Rotory, Obráběcí stroje, Sekací stroje an Autobusy (in English Factory for carriages, cars, rotors, machine tools, cutting machines and buses) was a bus manufacturer from Vysoké Mýto town of Czech Republic. It was biggest manufacturer of buses in Czechoslovakia. In 2007 its name changed to Iveco Czech Republic and now company produces buses under name Iveco Bus.

Czech Republic produce since 2014 in per million inhabitants most buses in the world.[1] Factory in Vysoké Mýto is the largest European bus factory.[2]

Production of car bodies[edit]

In 1896 founded Josef Sodomka in Vysoké Mýto manufacturing plant of coaches - First East Bohemian manufacture of carriages Josef Sodomka. In 1925 Sodomka company produced first car bodywork of own design on the chassis Praga Mignon. In the thirties, Sodomka becomes successful company when winning competitions elegance and showrooms. Company created car bodies for ordinary peoples car, but also for celebrities of the times, for example for Jan Werich (Tatra 52) and wife of President Beneš (Aero 50). Company have created bodies for various Czech and foreign companies.

Bus production[edit]

In 1948, the company was nationalized because it bothered the owner's name in the title, so the name was changed by the Prague company of Oldřich Uhlík, also incorporated into the national enterprise - Karosa. De facto Karosa at this time became the sole manufacturer of buses in Czechoslovakia, other manufacturers such. Škoda or Praga were not allowed to compete. At the end of the 50s began Karosa to produce the first well-known, and also the popular models of urban buses like. 706 RTO (in this model, however, only body), which were valued numerous international exhibitions (e.g. Expo 58 in Brussels in the year 1958). Followed then its modification for intercity transport and even articulated version, but it remained only a prototype. 706 RTO was replaced by Š series in 1964, in which there was also the modification as a trolleybus. Since 1972, the company uses today's factory, but it was recently renovated. In 1981 was introduced new 700 series. In 1989, after the fall of the totalitarian regime, the socio-economic changes had to adapt and conceptually underdeveloped Karosa. Its production, which reached 4000 buses a year, was reduced to only a thousand. Still, Karosa was able to regain its name, mainly due to foreign investor - French Renault. It had to be modernized manufacturing company and completely redesigne and upgrade of its vehicles.

In 1994 Karosa was bought by Renault. In 1995 started production of new Karosa 900 series, which was redesigned 700 series. Since 1999, Karosa was part of a pan-European venture holding Irisbus, which was founded by Renault with the Italian company Iveco (Iveco took over whole Irisbus in 2003). Buses made in Karosa Vysoké Mýto were sold in France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, the Benelux countries, the Russian Federation and even in countries such as Guadeloupe in the Caribbean or the Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, Beirut or in Egypt.[3]


In 2007 was its name changed to Iveco Czech Republic and in 2013 company changed its name again and produces buses under name Iveco Bus. It is Europe's largest factory for the production of buses.[2] The factory produced since 2005 buses: Irisbus Arway, Irisbus Récréo, Irisbus Citelis and now focuses mainly on production of the Iveco Crossway and Iveco Urbanway.