“Volvo” isn’t the only name of a car company, the manufacturer of passenger vehicles. It is also known as the Volvo Group, the commercial vehicle manufacturer. In this article, the contents are mainly about the Volvo Car Corporation (Volvo Cars).
The Volvo Cars was founded in 1927 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company was created and functioned as a subsidiary automobile company within the SKF group, which was 100% owned by the SKF group. Assar Gabrielsson was appointed the managing director and Gustav Larson as the technical manager.
SKF funded the production run of the first thousand cars, built at Hisingen in Gothenburg, beginning in 1927. SKF used one of the company’s trademarked names, the AB Volvo. The ownership of Volvo lasted until 1935 when the last shares were divested.
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.
1935-1999: Swedish Volvo Group
The AB Volvo was introduced at the Stockholm stock exchange in 1935 and SKF then decided to sell its shares in the company. Since then, Volvo Cars formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999.
Presented in 1944, the Volvo PV444 passenger car only entered production in 1947. In 1956 Volvo began importing cars to the USA. In 1964 Volvo opened its Torslanda plant in Sweden, which currently is one of its largest production sites (chiefly large cars and SUV). In addition, 1986 marked a record year for Volvo in the USA, with 113,267 cars sold.
1999-2010: Ford Motor Company
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 (PAG). The buyout of Volvo Cars was announced on January 28, 1999, and in the following year the acquisition was completed. 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 (Volvo Cars) – a manufacturer of automobiles owned by Ford Motor Company.
After Volvo Group sold its car division Volvo Car Corporation to Ford Motor Company during 2000, it was placed within the Premier Automotive Group alongside Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Volvo engineering resources and components would be used in various Ford, Land Rover and Aston Martin products, with the second generation Land Rover Freelander designed on the same platform as the second generation Volvo S80 (Evo.co.uk, 2006). The Volvo T5 petrol engine was used in the Ford Focus ST and RS performance models, and Volvo’s satellite navigation system was used on certain Aston Martin Vanquish, DB9 and V8 Vantage models (Scotsman.com, n.d.).
2010-now: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
While part of the PAG within Ford Motor Company, the Volvo Cars grew in its range of vehicles significantly for many years. When the global economic crisis of 2008 threatened the US automakers, Ford Motor Company offered Volvo Cars for sale in December 2008, after suffering losses that year.
On October 28, 2009, Ford confirmed that, the preferred buyer of Volvo Cars was Zhejiang Geely Holding Group , the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile. And the deal closed on August 2, 2010. It is the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese automaker. Since then, Volvo Cars continues to operate independent of its new owners.
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Evo.co.uk. 2006. Volvo C30 T5 SE | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo. [online] Available at: http://www.evo.co.uk/carreviews/evocarreviews/203613/volvo_c30_t5_se.html [Accessed: 17 Nov 2013].
Scotsman.com. n.d. ASTON. [online] Available at: http://www.scotsman.com/motors/reviews/aston-martin/aston-s-clearer-advantage-1-2655600 [Accessed: 17 Nov 2013].
Evo.co.uk. 2006. Land Rover Freelander | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo. [online] Available at: http://www.evo.co.uk/carreviews/evocarreviews/204249/land_rover_freelander.html [Accessed: 17 Nov 2013].