Founded as a wholly owned subsidiary of bearing maker SKF, Volvo produced its first vehicle on April 14, 1927. From the beginning, the company gained a historic reputation for which Volvo cars became synonymous with unsurpassed reliability and safety. Volvo later became a publicly traded, stand-alone company known as AB Volvo in 1935. AB Volvo maintained control of the brand until 1999, at which point they sold the car division to Ford Motor Company for the sum of US$6.45 billion. Ford later sold the Volvo brand to the parent company of Chinese auto manufacturer Geely for US$1.8 billion in August 2010.
Volvo Fast Facts
The word “Volvo” is actually a Latin word which means “I roll.” This name dates back to the days of the company’s founding as a subsidiary of the bearing maker SKF, who had initially registered the trademark name for a planned line of bearings to be sold in the U.S.
The “modern” form of 3-point seat belt (safety belt) used on the majority of production cars sold throughout the world today was developed and patented by Volvo Engineer Nils Bohlin and introduced as standard equipment on all Volvo vehicles in 1959.
The logo used by Volvo is recognizable as the symbol used to represent the male gender and/or the planet Mars. Lesser-known is that it is also an ancient symbol for the element iron. This was used to symbolize the high-quality Swedish iron that was used in the manufacture of early Volvos.
In the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap front crash test, the Volvo S60 was the highest-rated 2012 European luxury model tested and the only European luxury model to receive the IIHS’ highest rating of “Good.”
The Volvo High Mileage Club is open to all Volvo owners who have accumulated more than 100,000 miles on their vehicles. The club currently has six members with more than 1 million miles on their Volvo’s. One member, a retired science teacher from New York, has logged more than 2.7 million miles on his 1966 Volvo P1800! How’s that for reliability?
The top-selling Volvo cars include:
Volvo S60 – This compact luxury segment vehicle was completely refreshed for the 2012 model year and includes such innovative features as the world’s first pedestrian detection system.
Volvo XC60 – A compact crossover utility vehicle, the Volvo XC60 was the first vehicle to introduce Volvo’s “City Safety” feature, which uses active braking to avoid rear-end collisions at speeds below 19m.p.h.
Volvo XC90 – A midsize crossover utility vehicle and larger cousin to the Volvo XC60, the Volvo XC90 has the distinction of being Volvo’s first SUV and was also the first vehicle in the industry to offer Roll Stability Control, aimed at helping prevent rollover accidents.