Volvo was first established in Sweden in 1915 as a subsidiary of SKF, the ball bearing manufacturer. However, the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars consider themselves to have been officially founded on 14 April 1927 with the production of the first car, the Volvo OV series, affectionately known as “Jakob”, at the factory in Hisingen, Gothenburg.
The name Volvo means “I roll”, conjugated from “volvere”, in reference to ball bearings. Originally, the brand name Volvo first registered as a trademark in May 1911 was intended to be used for a new series of SKF ball bearings. But this idea was only used for a short period before SKF decided simply to use the “SKF” trademark for all of its ball bearing products.
In 1924, the two founders of the company Assar Gabrielsson, an SKF sales manager and engineer Gustav Larson decided to start construction of a Swedish car. Their vision was to design and build cars able to withstand the rigors of the country’s rough roads and cold temperatures.
AB Volvo began its activities on 10 August 1926. After one full year of preparations entailing the construction of ten different prototypes, the firm was ready to commence the manufacture of cars within the SKF group. SKF separated from AB Volvo after it was introduced at the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1935 and decided to sell its shares in the company.
Volvo Cars manufactures and markets sport utility vehicles, station wagons, sedans, compact executive sedans and coupes.
Volvo Cars was owned by AB Volvo until 1999 when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company. In 2010, the Geely Holding Group then acquired Volvo Cars from Ford.
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