Volvo. Assar Gabrielsson

Innovations in safety and environmental care continued apace with crumple zones, rear facing child seats, collapsible steering columns, side collision protection and the three-way catalytic converter with Lambdasond all being introduced on Volvo’s in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The Volvo 240 range replaced the 140 with even higher levels of safety and quality and was joined by the smaller Volvo 340 models from Holland to take Volvo’s sales past the 4 million mark by the end of the 1970’s.

In turn the Volvo 700 series of 1982 took Volvo yet another step into the exclusive market for personalised high-quality cars. Later in the decade the 340 was replaced by the Volvo 400 series which won plaudits for its roadholding and safety as well as its generous amount of interior space. A completely new and different Volvo was launched to the world in June 1991. The Volvo 850 was Volvo’s first front wheel drive executive car, with a transverse, five-cylinder engine. Its high level of safety combined with real driving pleasure won the car many independent awards.

After launching more new models in a single year than ever before in 2000, Volvo Cars’ work in 2001 is focused on development and new technology solutions. The Volvo Cars Safety Centre is also developed, and Volvo Cars now has superior crash test capabilities in its crash laboratory. Using the new movable test track, two-vehicle crash-tests can be staged from all possible angles at any speed. The round-the-world sailing event, Volvo Ocean Race, sets out from Southampton on 20 September 2001. Ahead of them the yacht crews have a voyage of 32,250 nautical miles before they reach the finishing line in Kiel in June 2002.

Volvo’s Cannondale mountain bike team, which has dominated the World Championships since 1994, reaps new successes and celebrates the decision to make mountain biking an Olympic sport in 2004. Volvo Cars also invests heavily in working with schools on environmental issues. In Barcelona, Volvo Cars opens a new design centre. The Volvo Logo. How it started When the decision was taken to start producing Volvo cars in August 1926, financial backer Svenska Kullagerfabriken – SKF – reactivated a company that had been idle since 1920 for the purpose.

The name of that company was VOLVO and it had been formed in 1915 for the manufacture and marketing of bearings for the automotive industry. Volvo – simple, smart and easy to pronounce Some smart member of the SKF management had come up with the VOLVO name. Not only was the name ingeniously simple, it was also easy to pronounce in most places around the world and with a minimal risk of spelling errors. And best of it all was its immensely strong symbolic connection to the company’s entire operations. “Volvere” is the infinitive form of the verb “roll” in Latin.

In its first person singular form, the verb “volvere” becomes “volvo”, i. e. “I roll”. Its Latin form gives rise to several derivations of the word that in one way or another, and in many languages too, describe a rotating movement, for instance, revolver. Everything that rolls When operations started, they were described as follows: “Ball bearings, roller bearings, machines, transmissions, automobiles, bicycles, rolling-stock, transportation devices, means of transport of all kinds and parts of and accessories for the aforementioned products”.

All those things were not realised but quite a few Volvo automobiles and other transportation devices have been produced over the years. Some other products that also carried the Volvo brand name are such oddities as producer-gas burners, camping trailers and office chairs. And the name still suits the company’s operations perfectly. Ancient logotype At the same time as VOLVO was reactivated, the ancient chemical symbol for iron, a circle with an arrow pointing diagonally upwards to the right, was adopted as a logotype.

This is one of the oldest and most common ideograms in Western culture and originally stood for the planet Mars in the Roman Empire. Because it also symbolised the Roman god of warfare, Mars, and the masculine gender (as every bird-watcher can tell), an early relationship was established between the Mars symbol and the metal from which most weapons were made at the time, iron. As such, the ideogram has long been the symbol of the iron industry, not least in Sweden.

The iron badge on the car was supposed to take up this symbolism and create associations with the honoured traditions of the Swedish iron industry: steel and strength with properties such as safety, quality and durability. The new car also got its name VOLVO written in its own typeface, Egyptian. Today, the iron logo also stands for a brand that radiates modern and exciting design and has a strong emotive connection with the customers. The logotype was complemented with a diagonal band running across the radiator, already on the first car in April 1927.

The band was originally a technical necessity to keep the chrome badge in place but it gradually developed as more of a decorative symbol. It is still found across the grille of every Volvo vehicle. Now, however, you will also find the iron symbol in a slightly modernized form in the centre of the steering wheel and the wheel hubs, and in all communications material such as advertisements, brochures, stationery, Internet sites, merchandise and so on. I am still rolling In 1999, the Volvo Car Corporation was sold by its owner AB Volvo to Ford Motor Company.

One reservation was stipulated, however: that the brand name should be used also in the future by both Volvo Cars and the rest of the companies in the Volvo Group. The brand name was consequently put into a holding company, Volvo Trademark Holding AB, which is co-owned fifty-fifty by Volvo and Ford, and whose management decides on how the name can be used and in what contexts. Currently, the holding company’s management group consists of Leif Johansson, President & CEO of AB Volvo and Bill Ford Jr, Chairman & CEO of Ford Motor Company.