Published on April 14th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Volvo Turns 93 Years Old Today
Locally and globally, people all over the world are celebrating their birthdays alone. While not technically a person, Volvo’s ‘Birthday’ was exactly 93 years ago today. On the 14th of April 1927, Volvo’s first car, the ÖV 4 rolled off the production line. The Volvo ÖV 4 was also Sweden’s first mass-produced car and took a lot of inspiration from contemporary American car design. It had a wooden frame, a 1.9L side valve engine and wheels from an artillery piece with wooden spokes.
It’s a bit odd, but Volvo really considers the birth of their first car to be the official beginning of their company. Founders Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson decided to build cars that would be able to take on Sweden’s harsh climate and rough roads.
Other notable dates that came before the production of their first vehicle are:
- May 1911 – When Volvo was registered as a trademark for ball bearings for the company Assar Gabrielsson worked for
- 10 August 1926 – When AB Volvo began activities
The company has seen good times and bad times. Today it is enjoying record levels of profit and growth under Geely ownership. It is one of the few car companies to successfully transition from having a more mass market appeal to becoming a serious premium market competitor.
Volvo’s founder Assar Gabrielsson saw an opportunity for car manufacturing in Sweden after having observed the growing auto industries in the U.S and Europe from his position within sales at the Swedish ball bearing maker SKF, a supplier to the car industry.
Pointing towards Sweden’s readily accessible steel, cheap labour and skilled engineers, he managed to convince SKF to invest in a spin-off car business called AB Volvo.
The first mass-produced Swedish car was quite a conventional vehicle with elements of American car design, a wooden frame made of ash tree and beech, a 1.9 litre side valve engine and artillery wheels with wooden spokes.
Only one colour combination was available: dark blue with black fenders.
Despite all these changes over the last 90 years, one thing has remained the same, the company’s commitment to making the world’s safest cars.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected premium car brands in the world with sales of 705,452 cars in 2019 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010.
In 2019, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 41,500 (41,500) full-time employees. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for APAC is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).