20 interesting facts about Volvo
Automobiles, produced by Volvo have followers all over the world; and for a good reason –a Scandinavian design, a strict but luxurious interior, perfect engineering, and, of course, an unmatched safety, those are features of the car, made by the famous Swedish automaker. Here are some interesting facts about this amazing company.
1. The name Volvo comes from Latin. It means ‘’I spin”, “I twist” (from lat. volv – spinning). As the time passed, the main meaning became “I roll”.
2. The world famous Swedish automaker was found on 25 July 1924, on the St. Jacobs holiday, by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larsson in a Stockholm restaurant Sturehof.
3. Volvo ÖV 4 is the first car, built by Volvo which left the factory on 14 April 1927. Nicknamed the “Jakob”, this four-door phaeton was powered by a 4-cilinder 2-Liter engine.
4. In 1928, the company presented the Type-1 truck – the Volvo’s very first commercial truck. The same year, Volvo introduced its second car model – the Volvo PV 651. Overall, 1383 of those vehicles were sold during the first year of production, 27 of which went to export.
5. In May 1932, from the beginning of volume production, Volvo made 10 000 vehicles. 3 800 of them were cars (1000 of which were powered by a 4-cilinder engine and 2 800 by a 6-cilinder engine) and 6 200 were trucks.
6. 1935 was a good year for Volvo. The Swedish automaker launched the Volvo PV36, a luxury car with a six-passenger layout (three at the front and three at the back). It featured a futuristic design, with a distinctive streamlined car body. The Volvo PV36 was a relatively expensive luxury vehicle with a price tag of 8 500 Swedish kronor.
7. The Swedish company sold its 50 000th vehicle on 6 September 1941. Since it was a time of World War II, one can hardly be surprised that those vehicle was a truck.
In 1944, the company started to improve the safety of the people who used Volvo vehicles. Volvo became one of the first automakers to address safety issues. The Swedish company came up with a slogan “We did not invent the car, but we set the safety standards” which became the cornerstone of company’s corporate philosophy.
8. In 1950s, Volvo was on the peak of its financial health. At that time, company used to give a 5-years insurance on all the vehicles in case of a car crash. No other automaker could grant a deal on such favorable terms but later Volvo decided to discontinue this practice.
9. In 1957, Volvo introduced two-point safety belts for a driver and a front seat passenger on all of its cars. It was a revolution in terms of safety.
10. In 1958, Volvo stated to install two-point safety belts in the rear seats. In 1959, a company’s employee, engineer Nils Bolin invented a three-point safety belt. Volvo became the first automaker to offer safety belts as a standard equipment for all of its cars.
11. In 1960, the company started to install dashboards made of soft plastic on all the vehicles they were producing.
12. In 1963, Volvo opened the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant, the first assembly plant in the company’s history outside of Sweden, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Volvo shipped manufactured parts to Halifax, where the Canadian division of the Scandinavian company produced cars for the North American market. Volvo became the fourth-largest automobile importer to the United States.
12. In 1965, the company introduced a brake booster. The first model to be equipped with a brake booster was the Volvo Amazon in its station-wagon body style. The Swedish automaker presented the front seat of a new type; it was created in cooperation with medical experts to support a healthy posture of the driver and the front seat passenger. Most medical experts will agree that the healthy posture is one of the most important factors of vehicle safety.
13. In August 1966, the company presented a new model – the Volvo 144. The vehicle was the new leader in terms of safety. The Volvo 144 was equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, a collapsible steering column, and brand new locks on three-point safety belts. Its chassis was strengthened with crushable energy-absorbing parts at the front and the back. The Volvo 144 became the first model to be equipped with a V-shaped separate circuit brake system. This type of the breaking system proved to be extremely reliable; the system continues to function, even if one of the circuits goes off.
14. In 1970, the total number of vehicles, produced by Volvo reached an astonishing number of 2 million.
15. In 1976, engineers of Volvo presented an oxygen sensor called the Lambda Sond and an exhaust catalyst.
16. On 2 February 1982, the company introduced a brand new model – the Volvo 760. It was presented during the press conference, which was broadcasted simultaneously all over the Europe. The Volvo 760 was offered in two different configurations: with a six-cylinder gas engine B28E and with a new six-cylinder turbo diesel TD24. Powered by a TD24 engine, the Volvo 760 GLE could reach the speed of 100 km/h in just 13 seconds. The Volvo 760 GLE was the fastest diesel automobile of its time.
17. In 1987, Volvo became the first company to install front and rear fog lights on its vehicles.
18. In 1987, the Swedish automaker started to use safety belts with a pre tensioner. However, the most significant invention, brought into mass production by Volvo that year, was a vehicle safety device, known as an airbag.
19. The company’s official logo is a spear and a shield, the symbol of Mars, the ancient Roman god of war. Accidently, a simple diagonal iron bar was used to attach the company’s logo to a grille on the first Volvo models. At that time, no one could predict that this simple iron bar would become the symbol of Volvo, as much as its official logo.
20. In the XXI century, the Swedish automaker is still keeping the title of the company that produces the safest cars in the world. Volvo is still working to improve safety of the people who drive their cars. During the last decade, the company introduced some of the most revolutionary safety measures in automobile history, including an airbag for pedestrians, a detection system for pedestrians and cyclists with an automatic function of a full stop and the Alcolock, the system, which prevents drivers from driving in condition of alcoholic intoxication. Notably, the Swedish company entered the new millennia with a new slogan: “Volvo. For life.”