|Founded||14 April 1927|
|Li Shufu (Chairman)
Håkan Samuelsson(President and CEO),
Hans-Olov Olsson (Vice-Chairman)
|Revenue||SEK 122,245 million (FY 2012)|
|SEK 1,919 million (FY 2012)|
|SEK 960 million (FY 2012)|
|Owner||Geely Sweden AB|
Number of employees
|Parent||Zhejiang Geely Holding Group（Chinese name:浙江吉利控股集团有限公司）|
Volvo Car Corporation was founded in 1927, in Gothenburg, Sweden, originally as a subsidiary company to the ball bearing maker SKF. When Volvo AB was introduced on the Swedish stock exchange in 1935, SKF sold most of the shares in the company. Volvo Cars was owned by AB Volvo until 1999, when it was acquired by the Ford Motor Company as part of its Premier Automotive Group. Geely Holding Group then acquired Volvo Cars from Ford in 2010.
Volvo Cars manufactures and markets sport utility vehicles, station wagons, sedans, compact executive sedans, and coupes. With approximately 2,300 local dealers from around 100 national sales companies worldwide, Volvo Cars’ largest markets are the United States, Sweden, China and Belgium. In 2011, Volvo Cars recorded global sales of 449,255 cars, an increase of 20.3% compared to 2010.
Volvo company was founded in 1927 in Gothenburg, Sweden, The company was created as a subsidiary company 100% owned by SKF. Assar Gabrielsson was appointed the managing director and Gustav Larson as the technical manager.
“Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain, safety”, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson 1927.
The trademark Volvo (which is Latin for I roll) was first registered by SKF the 11 May 1915 with the intention to use it for a special series of ball bearing for the American market (however in the application for the trademark, it was also designated for the purpose of automobiles), but it was never used for this purpose. SKF trademark as it looks today was used instead for all the SKF-products. Some pre-series of Volvo-bearings stamped with the brand name ‘Volvo’ were manufactured but was never released to the market and it was not until 1927 that the trademark was used again, now as a trademark and company name for an automobile.
The first Volvo car left the assembly line April 14, 1927, and was called Volvo ÖV 4. After this the young company produced closed top and cabriolet vehicles, which were designed to hold strong in the Swedish climate and terrain. In the registration application for Volvo logotype in 1927, they simply made a copy of the entire radiator for ÖV4, viewed from the front.
Presented in 1944, the Volvo PV444 passenger car only entered production in 1947. It was the smallest Volvo yet and was to take the lion’s share of Volvo production, a well as spearheading their move into the profitable American market. The first Volvos arrived in the United States in 1955, after hardware wholesaler Leo Hirsh began distributing cars in California. Later, Texas was added, and in 1956 Volvo themselves began importing cars to the US. North America has consistently provided Volvo with their main outlet since.
1926 Volvo ÖV 4 © Arne Granfoss
In 1964 Volvo opened its Torslanda plant in Sweden, which currently is one of its largest production sites (chiefly large cars and SUV). Then in 1965 the Gent, Belgium plant was opened, which is the company’s second largest production site (chiefly small cars). Finally in 1989 the Uddevalla plant in Sweden was opened, which is now jointly operated by Volvo Car Corporation and Pininfarina of Italy.
A collection of Volvo’s most important historical vehicles are now housed in The Volvo Museum, which opened in a permanent location in Arendal at Hisingen on May 30, 1995. For several years, the collection had been housed at “The Blue Hangar,” at the then closed Torslanda Airport.
In the early 1970s, Volvo acquired the passenger car division of the Dutch company DAF, and marketed their small cars as Volvos before releasing the Dutch-built Volvo 340, which went on to be one of the biggest-selling cars in the UK market in the 1980s. 1986 marked a record year for Volvo in the US, with 113,267 cars sold. The appearance of Japanese luxury brands like Acura and Lexus in subsequent years meant the loss of a significant market share for Volvo, one which they have never regained.
In 1999, Volvo Group decided to sell its automobile manufacturing business and concentrate on commercial vehicles. Ford saw advantages in acquiring a profitable prestige mid-size European automobile manufacturer, well renowned for its safety aspects, as an addition to its Premier Automotive Group. The buyout of Volvo Cars was announced on January 28, 1999, and in the following year the acquisition was completed at a price of $6.45 billion USD. As a result of the divestiture, the Volvo trademark is now utilized by two separate companies:
- Volvo Group – a manufacturer of commercial vehicles, etc. owned by Swedish interests.
- Volvo Car Corporation or Volvo Cars – a manufacturer of automobiles owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and formerly owned by Ford Motor Company.
Volvo Car Corporation was part of Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG), along with Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover. While part of the PAG, the company grew in its range of vehicles significantly.
After Ford sold Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Motors of India in 2008, the company initially decided to keep Volvo Cars despite mounting losses and gross economic downturns. Ford decided to restructure plans for Volvo Cars, pushing it further upmarket alongside the lower end of Mercedes and BMW sedans, wagons, and SUV crossovers. The outcome was the luxurious second generation Volvo S80 and the new small premium crossover Volvo XC60.
When the global economic crisis of 2008 threatened the US automakers, Swedish authorities became concerned about the fate of Volvo if Ford would file for bankruptcy. These concerns mounted after repeated mass-layoffs at Volvo. Ford announced in December 2008 that it was considering selling Volvo Cars. Initially, a sale price of US$6 billion was reported, Ford reported it was also looking into the possibility of spinning off Volvo as an independent company. The Swedish government was asked to look into a possible state ownership of Volvo, or a financial bailout for Volvo Cars and SAAB of GM. Former parent AB Volvo agreed to help Volvo cut costs through partnerships, and suggested taking part in a shared ownership of Volvo Cars amongst a larger consortium. Other rumored candidates to purchase Volvo Cars included BMW AG of Germany, Investor AB of Sweden, Chinese investors, or Russian investors.
Although it was rumoured that Volkswagen would buy Volvo Cars, and despite initial denials, Chinese company Geely Holding Group was ultimately selected to take over the Swedish automaker. Geely Group Holdings Co. allegedly bid about US$-1.5 billion to take over Volvo, with Goldman Sachs investing HK$2.59 billion (334 million USD) in the holding company.
Ford Motor Company offered Volvo Cars for sale in December 2008, after suffering losses that year. On October 28, 2009, Ford confirmed that, after considering several offers, the preferred buyer of Volvo Cars was Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile. On December 23, 2009, Ford confirmed the terms of the sale to Geely had been settled. A definitive agreement was signed on March 28, 2010, for $1.8 billion. The European Commission and China’s Ministry of Commerce approved the deal on July 6 and July 29, 2010, respectively. The deal closed on August 2, 2010 with Geely paying $1.3 billion cash and a $200 million note. Further payments are expected with a later price “true-up”. It is the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese automaker.
Stefan Jacoby, formerly chief executive of Volkswagen of America, became Volvo Car Corporation’s President and Chief Executive on August 16, 2010, replacing Stephen Odell, who became chief executive of Ford Europe. Li Shufu became Volvo Cars’ Chairman of the Board. His board members include Vice-Chairman Hans-Olov Olsson, a former president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, and Håkan Samuelsson, formerly chief executive of MAN.
Volvo cars have long been marketed and stressed their historic reputation for solidity and reliability. Prior to strong government safety regulation Volvo had been in the forefront of safety engineering.
In 1944, laminated glass was introduced in the PV model. In 1958, Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented and patented the modern 3-Point Safety Belt, which became standard on all Volvo cars in 1959, and then made this design patent open in the interest of safety and made it available to other car manufacturers for free. Additionally, Volvo developed the first rear-facing child seat in 1964 and introduced its own booster seat in 1978.
The 960 introduced the first three-point seat belt for the middle of the rear seat and a child safety cushion integrated in the middle armrest. Also in 1991 it introduced the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) on the 940/960 and 850 models, which channelled the force of a side impact away from the doors and into the safety cage.
To add to its SIPS, in 1995 Volvo was the first to introduce side airbags and installed them as standard equipment needed in all models in 1996. At the start of the 1995 model year, side impact protection airbags were standard on high trim-level Volvo 850s, and optional on other 850s. By the middle of the production year, they were standard on all 850s. In Model Year 1996, SIPS airbags became standard on all Volvo models.
Also in 1995, the Volvo 745 was recalled as the front seatbelt mounts could break in a collision.
In 1998 Volvo installed a head-protecting airbag, which was made standard in all new models as well as some existing models. The head-protecting airbag was not available on the 1996 C70 since the initial design deployed the airbag from the roof, and the C70, being a convertible, could not accommodate such an airbag. A later version of the C70 featured a head-protecting airbag deploying upwards from the door, avoiding this problem. It has been stated by many testing authorities that side head protecting curtain airbags can reduce the risk of death in a side impact by up to 40% and brain injury by up to 55%, as well as protecting during a rollover. In 1998, Volvo introduced its Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), a safety device to prevent injury to front seat users during collisions.
In 2004, Volvo introduced the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which detects vehicles entering the vehicle’s blind spot with a side-view-mirror-mounted camera, and alerts the driver with a light. That year also saw Volvos sold in all markets equipped with side-marker lights and daytime running lights. Also, since 2004 all Volvo models except for the coupes (C70 and C30) are available with an all-wheel drive system developed by Haldex Traction of Sweden.
In 2005, Volvo presented the second generation of Volvo C70, which came with extra stiff door-mounted inflatable side curtains (the first of its kind in a convertible).
Even though Volvo Car Corporation was owned by the Ford Motor Company, Volvo’s safety systems are still standard on all Volvo vehicles. Volvo has patented all its safety innovations, including SIPS, WHIPS, ROPS, DSTC, and body structures. Some of these systems were fitted to other Ford vehicles in forms similar to those of Volvo systems, but only because Volvo licensed the FOMOCO and other PAG members to utilize these features.
A 2005 Folksam report put the 740/940 (from 1982 on) in the 15% better than average category, the second from the top category.
In 2005, when the American non-profit, non-governmental Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its first annual Top Safety Picks vehicles list, none of Volvo’s offered vehicles in the U.S. was included on the list. According to Russ Rader, a spokesman for IIHS, Volvo lagged behind its competitors. Dan Johnston, a Volvo spokesman, denied that the company’s vehicles were any less safe than the Institute’s top-rated vehicles, adding that
“It’s just a philosophy on safety that is different from building cars to pass these kinds of tests.”
In 2006 Volvo’s Personal Car Communicator (PCC) remote control was launched as an optional feature with the all-new Volvo S80. Before a driver enters their car, he or she could review the security level and know whether they had set the alarm and if the car was locked. Additionally, a heartbeat sensor warned if someone was hiding inside the car. The S80 was also the first Volvo model to feature Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS).
In 2008 a French court found Volvo partially responsible for causing the death of two children and serious injuries of another in Wasselonne on June 17, 1999, when the brakes of a 1996 Volvo 850 failed. The court subjected Volvo to a 200,000 Euro fine.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Volvo’s S80 became one of 2009 Top Safety Picks Award winner. The previous versions of the S40 and S60 models (2005–09 models with standard side airbags) failed to attain the highest rating in their side impact test. However, according to the IIHS, in recent years Volvo Cars have still managed to maintain their high class safety ratings as seen in test results. The Volvo XC90, S80, C70, XC60, S60 and C30 are all rated Top Safety Picks in these crash tests. The 2014 models of the XC60, XC90, S60 and S80 have even received the Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Volvo has also scored high in EuroNCAP tests. Since 2009, all the Volvo models that EuroNCAP has tested have received 5 star safety ratings: Volvo C30, V40, V60, V60 Plug-In Hybrid, XC60 and V70. The new Volvo V40 (model year 2013-) even got the best test result of any car model ever tested in EuroNCAP.
(This list is not necessarily Volvo innovations, but dates when Volvo incorporated the technology into its cars)
- 1944 Safety cage
- 1944 Laminated windscreen
- 1957 Anchor points for 2–point safety belts, front
- 1958 Anchor points for 2–point safety belts, rear
- 1959 3–point safety belt, standard in front seats
- 1964 Rearward–facing child safety seat, first prototype tested
- 1966 Crumple zones front and rear
- 1966 Safety door–locks
- 1969 Inertia reel safety belts
- 1971 Reminder safety belt
- 1972 3-point safety belt, for outer rear seats
- 1972 Rearward–facing child safety seat
- 1974 Multistage impact absorbing steering column
- 1974 Bulb integrity sensor
- 1975 Braking system with stepped bore master cylinder
- 1978 Child safety booster cushion
- 1982 “Anti–submarining” protection
- 1986 3-point safety belt, for centre rear seat
- 1990 Integrated child safety cushion, in centre rear seat
- 1991 SIPS – Side Impact Protection System
- 1991 Automatic height adjusting safety belt
- 1992 Reinforced rear seats, in estate models
- 1995 Integrated child safety cushion, for outer rear seats
- 1997 ROPS – Roll Over Protection System (C70)
- 1998 WHIPS – Whiplash Protection System
- 1998 IC – Inflatable Curtain
- 2001 SCC – Volvo Safety Concept Car
- 2002 RSC – Roll Stability Control
- 2003 VIVA – Volvo Intelligent Vehicle Architecture, new front structure (S40, V50)
- 2003 Rear seat belt reminders (S40, V50)
- 2003 IDIS – Intelligent Driver Information System, a system that selectively blocks information to the driver in complex traffic situations and lets the information through once the situation has calmed down again (S40, V50)
- 2003 Volvo’s Traffic Accident Research Team, inaugurated in Bangkok
- 2004 BLIS – Blind Spot Information System, informing the driver of vehicles in the blind spots, using a yellow LED in the A-pillars (S40, V50)
- 2005 DMIC – Door Mounted Inflatable Curtain (new C70)
- 2006 PCC – Personal Car Communicator (new S80)
- 2006 CWBS – Collision Warning with Brake Support, a system that warns the driver and gives brake support when a collision with another vehicle in front of the car is imminent (new S80)
- 2006 EPB – Electrical Parking Brake (new S80)
- 2007 DAC – Driver Alert Control, a Driver Drowsiness Detection system that alerts the driver when the system detects that he/she is becoming tired (S80, V70, XC70)
- 2007 LDW – Lane Departure Warning, a system that warns the driver for unintended lane departures (S80, V70, XC70)
- 2007 CWAB – Collision Warning with Auto Brake, a system that automatically brakes the car when a collision with another vehicle in front of the car is imminent (S80, V70, XC70)
- 2007 DA – Distance Alert, a system that helps the driver keeping a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, by continuously measuring the distance and lighting up the vehicle’s Head Up Display if the time gap becomes shorter than what the driver has specified (S80, V70, XC70)
- 2007 Alcoguard, a hand-held device that the driver blows into before he/she can start the car, mainly aimed for the company-car sector, taxi operators, state authorities and municipalities (S80, V70, XC70)
- 2008 City Safety, a system that automatically brakes the car at speeds below 30 km/h (19 mph) if an obstruction is detected in front of the car (new XC60)
- 2010 Pedestrian Detection with Auto Brake, a system that warns the driver and automatically brakes the car when a collision with a pedestrian in front of the car is imminent (new S60)
- 2012 Pedestrian Airbag, covering the A-pillars and the lower part of the windscreen in case of collision with a pedestrian (new V40)
- 2012 Knee Airbag, for the driver (new V40)
- 2012 Upgraded City Safety, now working up to 50 km/h (31 mph) (S80, V70, XC70, XC60, S60, V60, new V40)
- 2012 LKA – Lane Keeping Aid, a system that steers the car back into the lane again if it’s about to unintentionally drift out of the lane (new V40)
- 2012 RSI – Road Sign Information, a system that reads road signs and displays them in the information display, thereby helping the driver to remember speed limits, no-overtaking stretches, low-speed areas, etc. (S80, V70, XC70, XC60, S60, V60, new V40)
- 2012 Enhanced BLIS, now being able to detect approaching vehicles up to 70 meters behind the car (new V40)
- 2012 CTA – Cross Traffic Alert, alerting the driver of crossing traffic approaching from the sides (up to 30 meters away) when reversing out of a parking space (new V40)
- 2013 Cyclist Detection with Auto Brake, a system that warns the driver and automatically brakes the car when a collision with a cyclist travelling in the same direction as the car in front of the car is imminent (S80, V70, XC70, XC60, S60, V60, V40)
1927 Volvo ÖV 4
- Volvo ÖV 4, a.k.a. Jakob
1931 Volvo PV650 Volvo PV650 Series
1934 Volvo TR675 Volvo TR670 Series
1935 Volvo PV36 Carioca Volvo PV 36 Carioca
1936 Volvo PV51 © Arne Granfoss Volvo PV51
Volvo PV800 Series (civilian (PV801, PV802, PV810, PV821, PV822 and PV831) and military (TP21/P2104, P2104))
Volvo PV 60 © Arne Granfoss
Volvo Duett (Volvo PV445, P210)
Volvo C202 1977-1981
1976 Volvo C 306
1974 Volvo C 303
Volvo C 306 © IPO Cars Volvo C3-series (C303, C304 and C306)
Starting with the 140 series in 1966, Volvo used a tri-digit system for their cars. The first number was the series, the second number the number of cylinders and the third number the number of doors; so a 164 was a 1-series with a 6-cylinder engine and 4-doors. However, there were exceptions to this rule—the 780 for example, came with turbocharged I4 and naturally aspirated V6 petrol engines and I6 diesel engines, but never an eight-cylinder, as the 8 would suggest. Similarly, the 760 often was equipped with a turbocharged I4 engine, and the Volvo 360 only had four cylinders. Some 240GLT had a V6 engine. The company dropped the meaning of the final digit for later cars like the 740, but the digit continued to identify cars underhood on the identification plate.
Volvo 140 (Volvo 142, Volvo 144, Volvo 145)
Volvo 240 (Volvo 242, 244, 245)
Volvo 340 (Volvo 343, 345)
Post tri-digit models
Released in 1998
Volvo S70 Replaced the 850 saloon version
Volvo S90 Replaced the 960 saloon version
Volvo V70 Replaced the 850 wagon version
Volvo V90 Replaced the 960 wagon version
Released in 1999
Released in 1996
Volvo V40 Small wagon
Released in 2004
Today, the company uses a system of letters denoting body style followed by the series number. S stands for sedan (car), C stands for coupé or convertible (including 3-door hatchback aka shooting brake) and V stands for versatile as in station wagon. XC stands for cross country originally added to a more rugged V70 model as the V70XC and indicates all wheel drive paired with a raised suspension to give it a mock SUV look. Volvo would later change the name to the XC70 in keeping with its car naming consistent with the XC90. So a V50 is an estate (“V”) that is smaller than the V70.
Originally, Volvo was planning a different naming scheme. S and C were to be the same, but “F”, standing for flexibility, was to be used on station wagons. When Volvo introduced the first generation S40 and V40 in 1995, they were announced as the S4 and F4. However, Audi complained that it had inherent rights to the S4 name, since it names its sporty vehicles “S”, and the yet to be introduced sport version of the Audi A4 would have the S4 name. Volvo agreed to add a second digit, so the vehicles became the S40 and F40. However, that led to a complaint fromFerrari, who used the Ferrari F40 name on their legendary sports car. This led to Volvo switching the “F” to “V”, for versatile.
1998 Volvo V70 estate
Small Cars (Ford C1 platform)
Volvo V40 2012–present (M/Y 2013–)
Large Cars (Ford D3 platform)
Volvo XC90 2002–present (M/Y 2003–2014)
Large Cars (Ford EUCD platform)
Volvo S60 2010– (M/Y 2011-)
Volvo V60 2010– (M/Y 2011-)
Volvo S80 2006–present (M/Y 2007–)
Volvo V70 2007–present (M/Y 2008–)
Volvo XC60 2008–present (M/Y 2009–)
Volvo XC70 2007–present (M/Y 2008–)
Large Cars (Scalable Product Architecture) (SPA) Volvo
Volvo XC90 2015- (M/Y 2016-)
The Volvo symbol is an ancient chemistry sign for iron. The iron sign is used to symbolize the strength of iron used in the car as Sweden is known for its quality iron. The diagonal line (a strip of metal) across the grille came about to hold the actual symbol, a circle with an arrow, in front of the radiator.
Volvo entered the European Touring Car Championship with the Volvo 240 in the mid-80s. The cars also entered the Guia Race, part of the Macau Grand Prix in 1985, 1986 and 1987, winning in both 1985 and 1986.
Volvo also entered the British Touring Car Championship in the 90s with Tom Walkinshaw Racing. This partnership was responsible for the controversial 850 Estate racing car, which was only rendered uncompetitive when the FIA allowed the use of aerodynamic aids in 1995. TWR then built and ran the works 850 Saloon, six wins in 1995 and five wins in 1996, and S40, one wins in 1997 in the BTCC. In 1998, TWR Volvo won the British Touring Car Championship with Rickard Rydell driving the S40R.
In 2008 Volvo entered the Swedish Touring Car Championship with a C30 powered by bioethanol E85 fuel. Robert Dahlgreen and Tommy Rustad were the drivers, finishing 5th and 10th respectively in the championship. Volvo have also signalled their intentions to enter the 2009 British Touring Car Championship with the same car.
The Volvo trademark is now jointly owned (50/50) by Volvo Group and Volvo Car Corporation. One of the main promotional activities for the brand is the sailing Race Volvo Ocean Race, formerly known as the Whitbread Around the World Race. There is also a Volvo Baltic Race and Volvo Pacific Race, and Volvo likes to encourage its affluent image by sponsoring golf tournaments all over the world including major championship events called the Volvo Masters and Volvo China Open.
Volvo sponsored the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s leading round-the-world yacht race for the first time in 2001–2002. The next edition is taking place between 2011 and 2012. Volvo has also had a long-standing commitment to the ISAF and is involved in the Volvo/ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships since 1997.
In 2011, Volvo Cars is the main sponsor of the winter sports and music festival Snowbombing in Austria.
Volvo has since the 1950s had special international sales programs for customers assigned abroad, for example Diplomat Sales, Military Sales and Expat Sales.
In 2012, Volvo signed NBA star Jeremy Lin to an endorsement agreement. Over the next two years Mr. Lin will participate in Volvo’s corporate and marketing activities as a “brand ambassador” for Volvo Car Corp.