In 1927, the Swedish car company Volvo was founded, starting as a division of the major bearing manufacturer SKF. In the same year, the first model of the Jakob OV4 brand was presented, equipped with a two-cylinder power unit with a capacity of 28 horsepower. However, in 1935, the Volvo company gains full independence, and at the same time a new leadership.
In 1928, the first modification of the OV4 model was introduced, called the PV4. The car became noticeably longer, and also got a hard top, which was positively received by buyers. In the same year, the first truck of the Volvo Typ 1 company was presented, which replaced light trucks based on the OV4 model in the model range. The first foreign representative office of the Swedish brand was also opened in the capital of Finland.
In addition to working on modifications to the OV4, Volvo engineers set about creating a six-cylinder power unit, which was introduced in 1929 on the new PV651. In addition, the management of the company decided to pay maximum attention to the safety of passengers, albeit by adding front brake discs as an option.
However, in 1930, after Volvo PV651 cars became official cars for taxis, sales skyrocketed tenfold, and profit, rationally, was directed to creating new models. In the same year, the second generation Volvo PV652 was introduced, with a more rounded body shape, as well as a slight reduction in weight. In addition, the car was equipped with hydraulic brakes on all four wheels, and the management of the company "Volvo", meanwhile, bought two factories - one of the old factories "SKF" and the production facilities of the company "Pentaverken", specializing in the creation of power units. At the same time, due to the high competition from the American concern General Motors, which produced cars under the Chevrolet brand in Sweden, lower prices for Volvo cars allowed the company not only to get the first large profit, but and pay dividends to investors.
In 1932, an upgraded version of the Volvo PV652 was presented, which received a new power unit with 65 horsepower. However, in 1933 the model gave way to two cars of different classes PV653 and PV654. In addition, the cars received such an important constructive improvement as improved noise insulation. In 1934, Volvo introduced the first seven-seater taxi on the Swedish market, which became the most popular private taxi vehicle, due to the fact that the car had the same price as the five-seater versions.
One of the most important factors in the further development of Volvo was the neutral position of Sweden during the Second World War. This allowed the Volvo brand to continue modernizing its cars, reducing the annual turnover of models by only 10%, exactly as many of the total number of cars were exported. However, the American strategy gradually began to run counter to the desire of Volvo's management to achieve maximum safety of their cars.
In 1946, a real crisis broke out for the Volvo brand, as the workers of other contractors responsible for the supply of raw materials for the creation of components, the management of the Swedish company faced a difficult problem. Initially, it was even planned to completely switch to lower quality elements produced in the United States of America, but the US government froze the deal. As a result, to prevent a complete shutdown of the Volvo factories for an indefinite period, the company's management decided to pay a wage increase to all striking workers, which completely deprived the company of profits, but production did not stop.
Thanks to such drastic measures, production at the Swedish factories of Volvo's main competitor, General Motors, was halted for 5 years. In the meantime, the Swedish brand has become one of the largest car manufacturers in Europe, setting a number of records, which were promoted by the stable position of the country's economy and the Swedish domestic market.
In the 1950s, Volvo continued to actively modernize its vehicles, gradually expanding into new market segments. This is how the production of modifications of standard vehicles was established for the needs of firefighters, medical institutions, schools and even the country's army. Steady growth in profit leads the company to open its own truck division, investing heavily in it, as well as exporting its best vehicles to the United States market.
The 1970s marked a new stage in the development of the Swedish company Volvo, when a design studio was opened at the automaker, where an aviation appearance was developed, which in fact was angular and not much like airplanes. However, it is the square shapes that have become the company's trademark. In 1971, Volvo's products were completely transferred to the use of injection power units, the crown of which was the 164E model, equipped with a 175 horsepower engine. In 1972, the Volvo experimental model was introduced, which is a mobile model for testing technological developments. In the same year, revolutionary solutions such as ABS and EBD were presented. In addition, a 33% stake in the Dutch truck manufacturer DAF was transferred to Volvo through subsidiaries.
In 1973, the world oil crisis began, and for the first time in its history, Volvo suffered losses at the end of the year, and hundreds of unnecessary cars were found in the warehouses of the brand's dealers. At the same time, in the United States of America, sales of Volvo cars grew steadily, but from an economic point of view, this did not bring profit, due to the costly delivery of cars across the ocean. However, the solution was found quickly, and the company opened the first Volvo plant in Canada, and the main North American representative office of the Swedish concern was located in Toronto.
In 1974, a strategic partnership was concluded between Volvo and the French automakers Renault and Peugeot. And in 1977, the Volvo 240 and 262 models were presented - luxury coupes and sedans, equipped with a new generation of power units with a capacity of 140 horsepower. However, the following year, a clear conflict within the company's management began to be traced, which led to the separation into an independent division of Volvo Cars. However, this did not in any way affect the quality of the products, which became a truly benchmark, which is confirmed not only by the number of awards and awards, but also by the international requirements for car safety, developed on the basis of the standard characteristics of Volvo cars.
The next 20 years were a time of experimentation for the company. The products were in high and stable demand, so the engineers could give free rein to their imaginations and work on the creation of new models, radically different from the usual Swedish brand cars. Thus, the Volvo CC coupe-cabriolets were presented, as well as in cooperation with Renault Sport, the motorsport division of the French concern, several options for streamlined bodies were developed that had increased aerodynamic efficiency. In 1990, an agreement was signed on joint work on trucks between Volvo and Renault, which was a very valuable achievement, since only 2 years later the European truck market consisted of 30% of these two brands.
In the 1990s, the company chose a new way of developing its cars, presenting the entire current model range, built on all-wheel drive chassis. Buyers warmly accepted this decision, and journalists dubbed the Volvo a Swedish BMW. By 2000, the company consistently ranks highest in all ratings of the best cars, but it was no longer the same company as before. The reason for this was the continuation of the conflict between the shareholders of Volvo, which led to a protracted dispute over the future fate of the automaker. So in 1999, by a majority vote, with dissatisfaction from the Swedish government, a controlling stake in Volvo was sold to the American concern Ford.
Further cooperation between Renault and Volvo was in jeopardy, but American managers decided to donate a 20% stake in Volvo's truck division. In addition, the Swedish company continues to release new models, in turn, providing its technologies and patents for the use of "Ford", which began to actively use them in the construction of premium cars.
After a strategic group of American specialists took control of Volvo in 2003, the pace of production of the company's cars began to gradually decline, and the renewal of the current model range did not help either. In view of what, the company "Volvo" went to low profit figures, but the real horror began 5 years later. The global financial crisis has caused new car sales worldwide to plunge 30%, hitting the mid-range and premium brands particularly hard. The decision of the "Ford" concern to rescue the Swedish company "Volvo" was a complete freeze of the development of new models of the company, and then a complete cessation of production of cars in the period from mid-2009 to January 1, 2010. Thus, the American concern was able to gain time to find new owners of the unprofitable enterprise.
In 2012, the company began production of the Volvo V40. It is a front-wheel drive C-class hatchback that replaced the S40 sedan and the V50 station wagon. The car is built on a modified Ford C1 global platform that has been used to build various Volvo, Ford and Mazda models. The Volvo V40 CrossCountry was also launched. This car is an off-road version of the C-class hatchback.
Since 2013, the Volvo V60 has been produced - a class "D" station wagon with front or all-wheel drive. One of the features of the model is the ability to choose one of the preset chassis settings - Touring, Dynamic, Four-C or Lower Sport, which was previously only available in the R-Design version.
In 2014, the company presented the Volvo XC90, a K2-class SUV. The Volvo XC90 is built on a scalable SPA platform that is easy to adapt to almost any size, drive type and so on. A hybrid version of the XC90 is also available, combining a 60 kW electric motor (80 PS and 240 Nm) and a 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine with a supercharged drive and direct injection. The total output of such an installation is almost 400 liters. from. and 640 Nm.
The new owners of the Swedish brand are Gili and the Chinese government. Under the agreement, the Chinese automaker can make full use of all the technical developments of Volvo, while the Swedish company, in turn, remains independent. In addition, the first models developed with the participation of the Chinese automaker were slated for 2015 to prepare buyers for the brand's shift in focus.
In 2015, the world premiere of the Volvo V60 Cross Country took place. It is a Class D off-road utility vehicle. Depending on the market, the Volvo V60 Cross Country can be powered by a 4-cylinder T5 petrol engine producing 245 hp. from.