Volvos are popular for their simple, but luxurious interiors, engineering and performance, safety, and more. If you own a Volvo, you already knew that. Here are a few other things you might not have known about the Swedish automaker.
Volvo is actually short for Aktiebolaget Volvo, also referred to as AB Volvo. “Volvo” is Latin, conjugated from “volvere.” It means “I roll.”
Volvo was started in July 1924 by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larsson in Stockholm. They wanted to build cars that could withstand the driving conditions in Sweden — rough roads and cold temperatures. They created ten prototypes before manufacturing started with the SKF group in 1926.
In 1927, their first car, the Volvo ÖV 4, rolled off the line in Hisingen, Gothenburg. It was nicknamed “Jakob” and was powered by a 4-cylinder, 2-Liter engine.
Historically, Volvo has been a successful manufacturer of commercial trucks. Their first truck, the Type-1, was presented in 1928 and brought international attention to the brand. It began exporting trucks to other countries in Europe by 1930, but their popularity didn’t spread outside the continent until after WWII. In May 1932, Volvo had made 10,000 vehicles — 3,800 were cars, and 6,200 were trucks.
Volvo was one of the first automakers to consider the safety of its drivers and passengers. Their slogan, “We did not invent the car, but we set the safety standards,” became a cornerstone for the company’s philosophy. Over the years, they were the first to introduce many safety features that are now standards.
From 1957-1958, they added two-point safety belts to the front and rear seats. In 1959, the three-point safety belt was invented by a Volvo engineer, Nils Bolin. They were the first automaker to offer seat belts as a standard feature in all their cars.
In 1960, Volvo started using a soft plastic on the dashboards. In 1965, the safety revolution was a brake booster, which reduced the amount of pedal pressure needed to stop the car. They also worked with medical experts to design a seat that supported a healthy posture.
The 1966 Volvo 144 was the leader in safety. It had four-wheel disc brakes, a collapsible steering column, and new locks on the three-point safety belts. The chassis was strengthened and made using energy-absorbing parts that would crush in the front and back.
Did you know that Volvo was a pioneer of vehicle safety? Austin’s Automotive Specialists in Calgary, Alberta, can keep your Volvo safe and reliable. Visit our shop today!