In 1927 Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larsson founded a small car manufacturer in Gothenburg Sweden. They called it Volvo which in Latin means “I roll” and on April 14th 1927 the first “Jakob” left the factory and founded a worldwide brand. Over the years Volvo has produced everything from Sedans and SUVs’ to heavy equipment for a global customer base.
Volvo has outlasted depressions, two world wars, the political realignment of Europe, and has come out on the other side Here is a brief rundown of the 70 year history of one of the most iconic brands in history
The Early Years
In the beginning Volvo made both hard tops and Cabriolet models of their new OV4 and PV4 models. Both were constructed to better withstand the brutal Swedish climate than contemporary US imports. Both carried and early logo that consisted of the Swedish symbol for iron attached to a diagonal piece of metal on the front grille. 1926 brought the first 6 cylinder model the PV51 and Volvo bought its first engine supplier and factory at the end of 1931.
The World War 2 Era
The Second World War greatly restricted Volvo’s production of cars, but by the fall of 1944 the company unveiled one of its most significant cars, the PV444. This was Volvo’s first true small car. The stylish design combined itself with and American flair and was an instant success. Another iconic model was the Volvo 120 “Amazon” made in 1956 and this brought about the company’s focus on safety. 1956 also brought Volvo’s first Sports model. The P1900 was launched in 1956 and the P1800 was produced in 1960.
The 1980’s to the Modern Era
In 1983 the Volvo 700, which was first produced in the 70’s, took a turn toward the exclusive market for high-quality personal cars. New models like the 340 and 400 series which won numerous awards for safety and quality throughout the decade. The 90’s brought a completely new and different Volvo, the Volvo 850. This was Volvo’s first front wheel drive car and had a new transverse 5 cylinder engine. Throughout the 90’s Volvo remained one of the few independent car manufacturers in the world, and the introduction of the V70 wagon and C70 coupe in the late 90’s only led to more success.
Between 1927 and 2019 Volvo produced 21,044,015 cars and has been consistently one of the highest safety rated vehicles in the world. Head down to your local dealer and drive one for yourself.