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Volvo is a Swedish auto manufacturing corporation located in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Volvo group was created in 1915. It was a subsidiary of a company that produced ball bearings. Volvo became an official auto manufacturer on April 14, 1927. The first car the company offered for sale was the Volvo ÖV 4series.
1924 Volvo Founders Create Agreement
There were two founders of Volvo. Assar Gabrielsson was a sales manager at the ball bearings company. Gustav Larson was an engineer. Gabrielsson and Larson made a verbal agreement during 1924 for the creation of Volvo. They later created a written contract. Larson would do all of the engineering work for their new car. He would create an investment plan that covered their auto manufacturing plant. Gabrielsson provided the capital and took the economic risk. It was a very risky deal with no guarantee for return on investment. Most of the funding he provided came from his sales commissions from the ball bearings company.
1927 Volvo Officially Founded
The board of the ball bearing company signed an agreement Assar Gabrielsson to produce cars. The agreement stipulated that ten prototype autos would be created. The calculations, engineering drawing and everything involved with their creation would be given to the ball bearing company. Gabrielsson would then be refunded most of his investment for the cars. During 1927, Gabrielsson left his sales manager position for the ball bearings company and was made president and managing director of the Volvo car manufacturing company. Gustav Larson was made the company's technical manager as well as vice president. Volvo was presented to the Stockholm stock exchange in 1935. The ball bearing company sold its shares of Volvo stock back to the company.
1927 First Volvo Autos
The Volvo ÖV 4 is the first auto manufactured by Volvo. It was an open carriage system with four cylinders. This early model of a Volvo is often called “Jakob.” Its engine was designed by Gustav Larson. The introduction of the Volvo ÖV 4 occurred in 1927. The next autos produced by the car company were top closed carbriolet vehicles. They were designed to operate efficiently in the weather and terrain of Sweden. The PV 4 was the model Volvo manufactured at the end of 1928. At the end of 1929, Volvo had built close to a thousand cars.
1928 Volvo Trucks
After introducing cars in 1927, Volvo then introduced the LV truck series to the public. It was a huge success selling 500 trucks in 1928 within months of them being available for purchase. In 2000, Volvo obtained Renault Vehicules Industriels. This purchase included Mack Trucks of North America. In 2007, Volvo purchased UD Nissan Diesel.
1934 Volvo Buses
The very first Volvo bus was named the B1. Today, it is the largest bus manufacturer. It offers a wide range of large buses used for passenger transportation. Volvo's bus operation is able to provide products on a worldwide basis.
1959 Three Point Safety Belt
The modern three-point seat belt was invented by an engineer at Volvo named Nils Ivar Bohlin. It is now a standard safety feature in every auto that is manufactured. In 1958, Bohlin joined Volvo. Previously he had worked as an aircraft designer and helped design airplane ejection seats. Bohlin received his patent for the three-point seat belt in 1959.
1967 Child Safety Seat
Volvo created the first child safety seat in 1967. The work to design a rear-facing child safety seat started in 1964. The first child safety seat prototype was called the PV544. It was made to be placed in the front passenger seat of a car. The backrest was made to be next to the dashboard. Its design was intended to work with most car models. It was intended for use with children from ages one to seven years old.
1975 Dutch Company DAF
Volvo obtained the passenger car operation of the Dutch Company DAF in 1975. The company then started marketing the small DAF cars as Volvos. The Volvo 340 was released. It soon became one of the most popular cars in the UK market during the 1980s. In 1986, Volvo set its car selling record with over 100,000 cars sold in just the United States.
1999 Volvo Sells Automobile Manufacturing
Volvo car manufacturing was struggling during the 1990s. A decision was made by the company to sell its automobile manufacturing business. This would make Volvo free to focus their efforts on their commercial vehicles. It was purchased by Ford Motor Corporation for 6.45 Billion U.S. Dollars.
Today the Volvo Group is established as one of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial engines, trucks, construction equipment and marine engines. It also manufactures buses. It offers customers complete solutions for all their service and financing needs. The company employs over 110,000 people. It has production facilities located in more than 17 countries. Its products are offered for sale in over 189 markets.