Volvo cars have a reputation for comfort, solidity, safety and longevity. Older models were often compared to tractors, partially because Volvo AB was and still is a manufacturer of heavy equipment, earlier Bolinder-Munktell, now Volvo Construction Equipment. Considered by some to be slow and heavy earned the distinction "brick" as term of endearment for the classic, block-shaped Volvo. With the more powerful turbo charged variants known as turbobricks. More recent models have moved away from the boxy styles favored in the 1970s and 1980s and built a reputation for sporting performance. But not before the phenomenal success of factory supported Volvo 240 turbos winning both the 1985 European Touring Car Championship (ETC) & 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC). Most recently a 850 series wagon won top honors at the 1995 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).Historically brand loyalty is significantly higher among Volvo owners versus other automobile manufacturers. Owners are often proud of achieving prodigious mileages with one well documented 1965 Volvo 1800s having been driven over 2.6 million miles. According to some figures the average age of a Volvo being discarded is second only to Mercedes at 19.8 years. Reliability is considered better than average and in the USA Volvo dealers are listed by Forbes as one of the best among all car makers (9th)and luxury car makers (6th).Volvo company came about in Gothenburg, Sweden in the year 1927. The company was founded by SKF as a subsidiary company 100% owned by SKF. Assar Gabrielsson was appointed the managing director and Gustav Larson as the technical manager.
Volvo was formed as a subsidiary company to the ball bearing maker SKF. It was not until 1935 when Volvo AB was introduced on the Swedish stock exchange that SKF sold most of the shares in the company. Volvo Cars was owned by AB Volvo until 1999, when it was acquired by the Ford Motor Company and placed in its Premier Automotive Group. Volvo is a premium manufacturer and produces luxury models ranging from SUVs, wagons, and sedans to compact executive sedans and coupes. With 2,500 dealerships worldwide in 100 markets; 60 percent of sales come from Europe, 30 percent from North America, and the other 10 percent is from the rest of the world. Cars, or Volvo Personvagnar, is a well-known Swedish automobile maker founded in 1927 in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden.
"Cars are driven by people. Therefore the guiding principle behind everything at Volvo is it must remain safe", Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson 1927.
Despite this, Volvo's originally had a reputation for high death rates in the event of an accident. This led to a drastic overhaul of Volvo's safety approaches and an aggressive marketing campaign to brand the cars as 'the safest on the road'. This perception branding has been so successful that "safety" is now the first word most associate with Volvo.
The trademark Volvo was first registered by SKF the 11th May 1915 with the intention to use it for a special series of ball bearing for the American market, but it was never used for this purpose. SKF trademark as it looks today was used instead for all the SKF-products. Some pre-series of Volvo-bearings stamped with the brand name 'Volvo' were manufactured but was never released to the market and it was not until 1927 that the trademark was used again, now as a trademark and company name for an automobile. Volvo - derived from the Latin for "I roll," was thought to be a good trademark for a ball bearing as well as for an automobile.
The first Volvo car left the assembly line April 14, 1927 was called Volvo ÖV 4. After this the young company produced closed top and cabriolet vehicles, which were designed to hold strong in the Swedish climate and terrain. The Volvo symbol is an ancient chemistry sign for iron. The iron sign is used to symbolize the strength of iron used in the car as Sweden is known for its quality iron. The diagonal line (a strip of metal) across the grille came about to hold the actual symbol, a circle with an arrow, in front of the cooler. In the registration application for Volvo logotype in 1927, they simple made a copy of the entire cooler for ÖV4, viewed from the front.In 1964 Volvo opened its Torslanda plant in Sweden, which currently is the one of its largest production sites (chiefly large cars and SUV). Then in 1965 the Ghent, Belgium plant was opened, which is the company's second largest production site (chiefly small cars). Finally in 1989 the Uddevalla plant in Sweden was opened, which is now jointly operated by Volvo Car Corporation and Pininfarina of Italy.Volvo cars have always evoked a reputation for safety. In 1944, laminated glass was introduced in the PV model. In 1958, Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented and patented the modern 3-Point Safety Belt, which became standard on all Volvo cars in 1959.
Volvo was the first company to produce cars with padded dashboards starting in late 1956 with their Amazon model. Additionally, Volvo developed the first rear-facing child seat in the late 1960s and introduced its own booster seat in 1978. In the mid-eighties, Volvo introduced the first central high-mounted stoplight (a brake light not shared with the rear tail lights), which became federally mandated in the United States in the 1986 model year. Seat belt and child seat innovation continued as shown in the 1991 960. The 960 introduced the first three-point seat belt for the middle of the rear seat and a child safety cushion integrated in the middle armrest. Also in 1991 came the introduction of the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) on the 940/960 and 850 models, which channeled the force of a side impact away from the doors and into the safety cage. In 1998, Volvo introduced its Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), a safety device to prevent injury of front seat users during collisions. In 2004, Volvo introduced the BLIS system, which detects vehicles entering the Volvo's blind spot with a side view mirror mounted sensor and alerts the driver with a light. That year also saw Volvos sold in all markets equipped with side-marker lights and daytime-running lights (the latter having already been available in many markets for some time). Much of Volvo's safety technology now also goes into other Ford vehicles. In 2005 Volvo presented the second generation of Volvo C70, it comes with extra stiff door-mounted inflatable side curtains (the first of its kind in a convertible). In 2006 Volvo's Personal Car Communicator (PCC) remote control has been launched as an optional feature with the all new Volvo S80. This feature is fairly new to the automotive industry. Before a driver gets to their car, they are able to review the security level and know whether they have set the alarm and if the car is locked. Additionally, there is a heartbeat sensor that warns if someone is hiding inside the car. The heartbeat sensor is rumored to also work with the SOS feature of Volvo's new telematics system. The all new Volvo S80 is also the first Volvo model to feature Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS).
By the mid-1990s there was little to distinguish Volvo from some other manufacturers (notably Renault) on safety when put through standardized tests such as EuroNCAP. The Volvo 745 had some severe problems with the C-pillar that could break in collisions even at relatively low speeds. The design was strengthened and the 740 was renamed as the Volvo 940. Also, the production of P1800 had to be stopped because it did not fulfill US safety standards.A US study showed that Volvo's safety have been slipping according to Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.In 2007, Finland’s Safety Technology Authority (TUKES) concluded that the structure of Volvo 440 and 460 automobiles manufactured between 1993 and 1995 had caused several cases of flare-ups during refueling.Dan Johnston, a Volvo spokesman, denied that the company's vehicles are any less safe than the Institute's top-rated vehicles, adding that
"It's just a philosophy on safety that is different from building cars to pass these kinds of tests."
Since 2004 all Volvo models except for the C70 and C30 are available with an all wheel drive system developed by Haldex of Sweden.Even in recent years Volvo Cars have still managed to maintain their high class safety ratings as seen in test results from the IIHS. The Volvo XC90, S80,S40, and C70 all score top scores in these rated crash tests.Even although Volvo Car Corp is owned by the Ford Motor Company, the safety systems of Volvo are still made standard on all of their vehicles. Volvo has patented all of their safety innovations that would include SIPS, WHIPS, ROPS, DSTC, IC, and body structures to name a few. Some of these systems have shown up in other Ford vehicles in related forms to that of Volvo systems only because Volvo has licenced the FOMOCO and other PAG members to utilize these features.
Starting with the 140 series in 1968, Volvo used a three number system for their cars. The first number was the series, the second number the number of cylinders and the third number the number of doors; so a 164 was a 1-series with a 6-cylinder engine and 4 doors. However there were exceptions to this rule—the 780 for example, came with turbocharged I4 and naturally-aspirated V6 petrol engines and I6 diesel engines, but never an eight cylinder as the 8 would suggest. Similarly, the 760 often was equipped with a turbocharged I4 engine and the Volvo 360 only had four cylinders. Some 240GLT had a V6 engine. The company dropped the meaning of the final digit for later cars like the 740, but the digit continued to identify cars underhood on the identification plate. Volvo VIN Numbers had always been give YV1 symbolizing Sweden, Volvo, and Volvo Car Corp.
Today, the company uses a system of letters denoting body style followed by the series number. S stands for saloon or sedan, C stands for coupé or convertible and V stands for versatile or estate car. XC stands for cross country originally added to a more rugged V70 model as the V70XC and indicates all wheel drive paired with a raised suspension to give it a mock SUV look. Volvo would later change the name to the XC70 in keeping with its car naming consistent with the XC90. So a V50 is an estate ("V") that is smaller than the V70.
Originally, Volvo was planning a different naming scheme. S and C were to be the same, but "F", standing for flexibility, was to be used on station wagons. When Volvo introduced the first generation S40 and V40 at Frankfurt in 1994, they were announced as the S4 and F4. However, Audi complained that it had inherent rights to the S4 name, since it names its sporty vehicles "S", and the yet-introduced sport version of the Audi A4 would have the S4 name. Volvo agreed to add a second digit, so the vehicles became the S40 and F40. However, that led to a complaint from Ferrari, who used the Ferrari F40 name on their legendary sports car. This led to Volvo switching the "F" to "V", for versatile.
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