car manufacturer (1926)
The Volvo was born on 25 July 1924 when Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, one without the knowledge of the other, entered a restaurant in Stockholm famous for its crayfish delicacies: the "Sturehof".
The two knew each other and decided to have dinner together. During the evening they discovered that both had had the same dream for years: to found a totally Swedish car factory. Since then, the legendary crayfish dinner marks the time of the foundation of the Volvo brand.
Volvo car production actually begins on April 14, 1927, with the first model: ÖV 4. The two founding partners thought that no one else built cars strong enough and safe enough to travel in the harsh Swedish weather.
Volvo's story begins and it's a long journey full of innovations, some of which have contributed to changing the world.
The name Volvo derives from the Latin volvere (turn, rotate, roll). The brand was registered for the first time by SKF on 11 May 1915 with the intention of using it for a special series of ball bearings to be exported to the American market, but it is never used. It was taken up again in 1927 for the production of cars.
The Volvo brand represents the ancient alchemical symbol of iron, chosen to symbolize the resistance of the excellent quality steel used in Sweden for the production of cars. The diagonal line, across the grid, was adopted shortly thereafter to attach the current symbol to the radiator.
The Volvo is known for its station wagon cars, it is considered the architect of their diffusion worldwide. Volvo also manufactures sedans, SUVs, trucks and buses.
Volvo production was characterized by rear-wheel drive cars, a technical line that was first diverted with the introduction of the "400" series (480, 440, 460) and abandoned with the appearance of the Volvo 850 series which marks Volvo's transition to traction front and 4-wheel drive.
The Volvo became famous all over the world for the "family cars" (station wagon) with the introduction of the model 240 (1975 - 1993) which although produced in various versions owes its fame to the model 245 which will change the perception of the vehicle Station Wagon from "work vehicle" to "family vehicle".
Subsequently, the Volvo group expands into other sectors, such as trucks, buses, construction machinery, agricultural tractors, marine engines, etc.
In 1964 Volvo opened the Torslanda factory, one of its most important production plants, where off-road vehicles and high-class cars are assembled. In 1965, a production plant was opened in Ghent (Belgium).
The seventies marked important events with the purchase, in 1975, of the automobile construction sector of the Dutch DAF and with the signing of a joint venture with Peugeot and Renault for the design and construction of a successful engine, the PRV, adopted then from many other cars, for example the Italian Lancia Thema.
In 1989, a new plant was opened in Uddevalla, in cooperation with Pininfarina, where niche cars are mainly produced.
In 1999 the Volvo group sold its passenger car division to the Ford Motor Company group.
From the beginning of 2009 rumors are circulating about the sale by Ford to one of the Chinese automotive companies. The official announcement of the sale was released by Ford on March 28, 2010.
Some of the historical VOLVO models:
1927 - ÖV4 ("Jacob")
Volvo kicks off car production in Gothenburg. In 1927 297 cars were produced. The goal of the two founders, Gustaf Larson and Assar Gabrielsson, was to build a car that perfectly matched the characteristics of the Swedish roads and climate.
1935 - PV36 ("Carioca")
A provocative car, with sinuous lines and the name of a South American dance very popular at the time. The PV36 was a relatively expensive luxury model: a very modern car, equipped with maximum comfort.
The booming Swedish middle class is starting to demand small and cheap cars. With the PV444, the first Volvo model aimed at the general public, car production is finally entering a profitable phase.
1944 - PV444
The Volvo PV444 was presented for the first time in 1944. These are the main features: rear-wheel drive, 40 HP 4-cylinder engine and three-speed gearbox. The construction of the Volvo PV444 has remained largely unchanged for 20 years. In all, 469,409 series cars were built, including PV444, PV445 (Duett) and PV544. In the photo the Volvo PV544, the slightly modified model that succeeded the PV444 and that was produced from 1958.
1950 - Volvo PV445 Duett
Volvo Duett (PV445 until 1960 / P210 1960-1969)
The Volvo Duett was born in 1950 on the basis of the PV444. The model remains substantially unchanged throughout the production period. In 1960 he moved from the split windshield to the entire windshield and also changed the name: it will be called P210. The load volume makes this model a real myth.
1956-1967 - Volvo P210 Amazon
The Volvo P210, also called "Amazon", constitutes a further milestone for Volvo: it is a safe and spacious car for the family; thanks to the modern and inexpensive 4-cylinder OHV engine, it leverages on a larger target than previous models and stands out for an unparalleled safety standard at the time. In 1959 it was equipped as the first car in the world with a three-point seat belt. This model also marks a turning point for its external appearance: while the previous Volvo models were influenced by the American look, Amazon refers to the Italian design of the fifties. The model does not undergo significant changes for the entire production period.
The core values ‚Äč‚Äčof Volvo:
Thanks to the standard three-point seat belt, the revolutionary safety bodywork and braking system of the Volvo 144, in the 1960s Volvo suddenly became number one in terms of safety. And in 1972, with the Volvo Experimental Safety Car (VESC), he occupies the leading position in safety research.
Even in terms of ecology, Volvo stands out more and more internationally. Under the direction of Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, Volvo plays an exemplary leading role at the Stockholm conference on ecology in 1972. The introduction of the catalyst with lambda probe represents a truly revolutionary step in 1977. Even in the development of electric vehicles, Volvo starts very early (1976) to take its first steps.
With the 140 series, Volvo has been developing its own language since 1966 which stands out for the clarity of its lines. The third side window represents, in the decades to come, an unmistakable feature of the Volvo style.
1960-1973 - Volvo P1800
1960 was marked by the first world appearance of the Volvo P1800 at the Geneva Motor Show. This two-seater sports coupe had a worldwide reputation thanks to the television series "Simon Templar" with Roger Moore, who has driven this car for many years also in his private life. Ten years later production of the Volvo P1800 ES begins.
1966-1974 - Volvo 144
The Volvo 144 introduces a new style line that will characterize the design of Volvo models for a long time. In addition to being innovative, its braking system offers an exemplary safety standard: disc brakes on all four wheels and the division into braking circuits, which ensure almost integral braking and stable road holding even in the event of failure of one of the two circuits. This model was the first to also use the deformation zone.
1974 - Volvo 240 - a model and a classic.
With the 200 series, which replaced the 140/160 series in 1974, Volvo strengthened its position as a leader in the field of ecology. The Volvo 240 was the first car in the world equipped with a lambda probe and a catalyst. The high level of passive safety also sets new benchmarks. The sturdiness and excellent driving qualities make this model legendary and lead it to win numerous awards such as "Car of the year", "Car of the year for the family" "Safer car of the year" and more. The Volvo 240 was born in 1993, the result of an evolution in constant development.
The new sportiness:
In addition to new models, such as the 400 series, Volvo also marked new steps in the field of safety in the 1980s: for example, with the introduction of ABS, the passenger airbag or the safety belt with pretensioner. The ranges of Volvo models are enriched thanks to further innovations, such as the first turbo and the low-consumption engines. In 1991, in line with the general trend, Volvo built a front-wheel drive model with the 850.
1985 - Volvo 480
With the 400 series, Volvo focuses primarily on performance and stability and begins the development of models with sporty characteristics.
1991 - Volvo 850
Volvo 850 is "a dynamic car with four world innovations": engine with 5 cylinders in line mounted transversely, Delta-Link rear axial, SIPS side impact protection system and safety belts with automatic height adjustment. In 1996 the Volvo 850, which had marked a new industrial generation, evolved and first became the Volvo S70 and then the Volvo V70.
The Scandinavian tradition
The design of Volvo cars is strongly inspired by Scandinavian origins, for which elegance, functionality and linearity are important design elements found in both the interior and exterior of our models. You can discover the tradition of Volvo design through a series of stylish elements that have characterized Volvo since the 1950s, such as the vertical front, the "V" shaped hood, the pronounced shoulders along the sides of the car and the shape of the rear lights. Tradition of design and modern creativity come together to give rise to attractive lines that are proof of the passage of time.
Global design process
Our design is based on the customer's needs and lifestyle, as well as on the values ‚Äč‚Äčrepresented by the Volvo brand. From the outset, our designers have established a close collaborative relationship with those responsible for product planning and with the engineers responsible for pre-production, always using, of course, standardized computer simulation models. This approach allows you to create harmony and balance between the car design and its technical content. Once realized, the various design proposals are submitted to the opinion of the various reference groups within the company, then to customer clinics organized in important markets where buyers can see 1/1 scale models and provide their own opinion.
The car design is developed and improved through a continuous process. The Volvo Cars design department has approximately 200 employees located in the three design centers in Gothenburg, Barcelona and Camarillo, outside of Los Angeles. The role of these structures is to monitor new trends, design languages ‚Äč‚Äčand customer preferences.
Volvo Cars: We protect the future
Volvo's commitment to the environment dates back to the early 1970s and covers the entire life cycle of the car: design, processing and production, use, assistance and recycling. An efficient use of energy and resources, as well as the reduction of polluting emissions are an integral part of the commitment and also contribute to creating a healthy environment inside the car itself.