- This article is about Volvo Group—AB Volvo; Volvo Cars is the passenger vehicle maker using the Volvo trademark, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
|Type||Publicly traded Aktiebolag (OMX: VOLV B)|
|Founded||1927 by SKF|
|Key people||Louis Schweitzer (Chairman), Olof Persson (President and CEO)|
|Products||Trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine and industrial power systems, aerospace components, financial services|
|Revenue||SEK 264.75 billion (2010)|
|Operating income||SEK 18.00 billion (2010)|
|Profit||SEK 10.87 billion (2010)|
|Total assets||SEK 318.01 billion (end 2010)|
|Total equity||SEK 74.12 billion (end 2010)|
|Employees||105,260 (end 2010)|
|Subsidiaries||Mack Trucks, Renault Trucks, UD Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Buses, Volvo Trucks, Volvo Aero, Volvo Penta|
AB Volvo is a Swedish builder of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and construction equipment. Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace components and financial services. Although Volvo was incorporated in 1915 as a subsidiary of AB SKF, a Swedish ball bearing manufacturer, the auto manufacturer considers itself officially founded on 14 April 1927, when the first car, the Volvo ÖV 4 series, affectionately known as “Jakob”, rolled out of the factory in Hisingen, Gothenburg.
Volvo means “I roll” in Latin, conjugated from “volvere”, in relation to ball bearing. The name Volvo was originally registered in May 1911 as a separate company within SKF AB and as a registered trademark with the intention to be used for a special series of ball bearing, but this idea was only used for a short period of time and SKF decided to use “SKF” as the trademark for all its bearing products.
In 1924, Assar Gabrielsson, a SKF Sales Manager, and Engineer Gustav Larson, the two founders, decided to start construction of a Swedish car. Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden’s rough roads and cold temperatures. This has become a feature of Volvo products ever since.
The company AB Volvo had no activities until 10 August 1926, after one year of preparations involving the production of ten prototypes, was set up to carry out the car-manufacturing business within the SKF group. AB Volvo was introduced at the Stockholm stock exchange in 1935 and SKF then decided to sell its shares in the company. Volvo was delisted from NASDAQ in June 2007, but remains listed on the Stockholm exchange.
In 1999, Volvo sold its car division Volvo Cars to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion. The Volvo trademark was shared between Volvo AB, where it is used on heavy vehicles, and the unit of Ford, where it was used on cars. Volvo stopped posting profits in 2005 and in 2008, Ford decided to sell its interest in Volvo Cars; in August 2010, Ford completed its sale of Volvo to the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile for $1.8 billion.
The Volvo Group has its origin in 1927 when the first Volvo car rolled off the production line at the factory in Gothenburg. Only 280 cars were built that year. The first truck, the “Series 1″, debuted in January 1928, as an immediate success and attracted attention outside the country. In 1930, Volvo sold 639 cars, and the export of trucks to Europe started soon after; the cars did not become well-known outside Sweden until after World War II.
Marine engines have been part of the Group almost as long as trucks. Pentaverken, founded in 1907, was acquired in 1935. As early as 1929, however, the U-21 outboard engine was introduced. Manufacturing continued until 1962.
In early models, Volvos have also been known to explode due to the engine being too close to the gas tank and igniting the tank. This myth was very popular during 1940s.
The first bus, named B1, was launched in 1934, and aircraft engines were added to the growing range of products at the beginning of the 1940s. In 1963, Volvo opened the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant, the first assembly plant in the company’s history outside of Sweden in Halifax, Canada.
On 28 January 1999 Volvo Group sold its business area Volvo Car Corporation to the Ford Motor Company for US$6.45 billion, with the resulting group largely set on commercial vehicles. Volvo Cars was then sold to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010. On 2 January 2001, Renault Véhicules Industriels (which included Mack Trucks, but not Renault’s stake in Irisbus) was sold to Volvo, which renamed it Renault Trucks in 2002. As a result, former mother company Renault is AB Volvo’s biggest shareholder with a 20% stake (in shares and voting rights).
The last ten years the company has undergone rapid growth in the service area with, for example, financial solutions supporting the sales of the manufacturing business units. In 2006, AB Volvo acquired from Nissan Motor Co Ltd, 13% of the shares in the Japanese truck manufacturer UD Trucks former Nissan Diesel, and became major shareholder. In 2007 the Volvo Group took complete ownership of Nissan Diesel to extend its expansion in the Asian pacific market.
Volvo Group’s businesses are conducted in several companies—among them these subsidiaries:
- Volvo Trucks (midsize-duty trucks for regional transportation and heavy-duty trucks for long distance transportation, as well as heavy-duty trucks for the construction work segment)
- Mack Trucks (light-duty trucks for close distribution and heavy-duty trucks for long distance transportation)
- Renault Trucks (heavy-duty trucks for regional transportations and heavy-duty trucks for the construction work segment)
- UD Trucks (midsize-duty trucks)
- Volvo Construction Equipment (construction machines) (previously Volvo BM, see also AB Bolinder-Munktell)
- Volvo Buses (complete buses and bus chassis for city traffic, line traffic and tourist traffic)
- Volvo Penta (marine engine systems for leisure boats and commercial shipping, diesel engines and drive systems for industrial applications)
- Volvo Aero (high-tech components for aircraft and rocket engines as well as services for the aircraft industry)
- Volvo Financial Services (customer financing, inter-group banking, as real estate administration)
Volvo Trademark Holding AB is equally owned by AB Volvo and Volvo Car Corporation.
The main activity of the company is to own, maintain, protect and preserve the Volvo trademarks (including Volvo, the Volvo device marks (grille slash & iron mark) Volvo Aero and Volvo Penta) on behalf of its owners and to license these rights to its owners. The day-to-day work is focused upon maintaining the global portfolio of trademark registrations and to extend sufficiently the scope of the registered protection for the Volvo trademarks.
- Renault Trucks
- UD Trucks
- Mack Trucks
- Volvo Penta
- Volvo Aero
- Nova Bus
- Our brands
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