Volvo Cars

The Volvo Cars

Volvo Car Corporation, or Volvo Personvagnar AB, is a Swedish automobile manufacturer founded in 1927, in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Volvo was originally formed as a subsidiary company to the ball bearing maker SKF. When Volvo AB was introduced on the Swedish stock exchange in 1935, 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 as part of its Premier Automotive Group. Geely Holding Group then acquired Volvo from Ford in 2010.

Volvo produces models ranging from SUVs, station wagons (estates), and sedans (saloons), to compact executive sedans and coupes. With approximately 2,300 local dealers from around 100 national sales companies worldwide, the US is Volvo Cars' largest market, followed by Sweden, the United Kingdom, China and Germany.[citation needed] In 2010, Volvo recorded global sales of 373,525 cars, an increase of 11.2% compared to 2009.

Volvo is often compared to and nicknamed tractors, partially because Volvo AB was and still is a manufacturer of heavy equipment, earlier Bolinder-Munktell, now Volvo Construction Equipment. Some consumers considered older models to be slow and heavy, thus earning the distinction, "brick", as a term of endearment for the classic, block-shaped Volvo, with the more powerful turbocharged variants known as "turbobricks". The company moved away from the boxy styles of the 1970s and 1980s, to models which gained a reputation for sporting performance, including the factory-supported Volvo 240 turbos, which won the 1985 European Touring Car Championship (ETC) and 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC).

Volvo is known for its high safety standards. Owners are often proud of achieving high mileage; one well-documented 1966 Volvo P1800 has been driven over 2.8 million miles, a Guinness World Record for most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle. According to some figures, the average age of a Volvo being discarded is 19.8 years, second only to Mercedes.

History Of Volvo Cars

Volvo company was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1927. The company was created as a subsidiary company 100% owned by SKF. Assar Gabrielsson was appointed the managing director and Gustav Larson as the technical manager.

"Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain, safety", Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson 1927.

The trademark Volvo was first registered by SKF the 11 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.

The first Volvo car left the assembly line April 14, 1927, and 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. In the registration application for Volvo logotype in 1927, they simply made a copy of the entire radiator 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.

A collection of Volvo's most important historical vehicles are now housed in The Volvo Museum, which opened in a permanent location in Arendal at Hisingen on May 30, 1995. For several years, the collection had been housed at "The Blue Hangar," at the then closed Torslanda Airport.

In the early 1970s, Volvo acquired the passenger car division of the Dutch company DAF, and marketed their small cars as Volvos before releasing the Dutch-built Volvo 340, which went on to be one of the biggest-selling cars in the UK market in the 1980s.

Volvo Group, as one of the largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles in the world, took the initiative to sell its automobile manufacturing in 1999 in order to fully focus its efforts on the market for commercial vehicles.

Ford, on the other hand, saw advantages in acquiring a profitable prestige mid-size European automobile manufacturer, well renowned for its safety aspects, as an addition to its Premier Automotive Group. The buyout of Volvo Cars was announced on January 28, 1999, and in the following year the acquisition was completed at a price of $6.45 billion USD. As a result of the divestiture, the Volvo trademark is now utilized by two separate companies:

* Volvo Group – a manufacturer of commercial vehicles, etc. owned by Swedish interests.
* Volvo Car Corporation or Volvo Cars – a manufacturer of automobiles owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and formerly owned by Ford Motor Company.

Ford management

Volvo Car Corporation was part of Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group (PAG). Since its acquisition by the PAG, the company has grown in its range of vehicles. It had been the only brand left in the group since the sale of Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover.

After the sale of Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Motors of India, Ford decided to keep Volvo Cars despite mounting losses and gross economic down turns. Ford decided to restructure plans for Volvo Cars, pushing it further upmarket alongside the lower end of Mercedes and BMW sedans, wagons, and SUV crossovers. The outcome was the luxurious second generation Volvo S80 and the new small premium crossover Volvo XC60.

Talks were held about the fate of Volvo Cars in the event of failure of US automakers, including Volvo's parent Ford. Swedish concerns mounted after repeated mass layoffs at Volvo, prompting Sweden to enter the spotlight to help its automotive industry. The government was asked to look into a possible state ownership of Volvo, or financial bailout for Volvo Cars and SAAB of GM. Eventually, AB Volvo responded to heated talks and decided that they do not want to see Volvo Cars fail, so they agreed to help Volvo cut costs through partnerships and even a possible share ownership amongst a larger consortium. AB Volvo repeated and stood stern that they will not buy back Volvo cars nor be sole majority owner. They are only willing to become part share owner of their erstwhile car unit.

Ford announced in December 2008 that it was considering selling Volvo Cars and making complex evaluations; a sale price of US$6 billion was reported, but meanwhile it will try to make Volvo an independent company. The Swedish government was interested in helping with a possible Swedish acquisition of Volvo Cars in the near future along with AB Volvo. It was believed that BMW AG of Germany, Investor AB of Sweden, Chinese investors, or Russian investors were all possible candidates for purchase. Ultimately price was thought not to be the sole factor in the sale – Volvo Cars preference for its new owner, as well as the long-term strategic interest of Ford, will also influence the decision. Besides, AB Volvo must release the trademark rights to the new owner. Ford ultimately chose Geely Holding Group to acquire Volvo Cars.

Geely initially denied the plan for buying Volvo, followed by denials from both Ford and Volvo. After later estimates suggested that Volvo is only worth US$1–1.5 billion, Geely's parent company, Geely Group Holdings Co., planned to bid for Volvo, with Goldman Sachs investing HK$2.59 billion (334 million USD) to the holding company.Geely acquisition

Ford Motor Company decided to consider putting Volvo Cars on the market in December 2008, after suffering huge losses that year. On October 28, 2009, Ford confirmed that, after considering several offers, the preferred buyer of Volvo Cars was Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile. On December 23, 2009, Ford confirmed that all substantive commercial terms of the sale to Geely had been settled. A definitive agreement was signed on March 28, 2010 worth $1.8 billion. The European Commission and China's Ministry of Commerce approved the deal on July 6 and July 29, 2010, respectively. The deal closed on August 2, 2010 with Geely paying $1.3 billion cash and a $200 million note. Further payments are expected with a later price "true-up". It is the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese automaker.

Stefan Jacoby, formerly chief executive of Volkswagen of America, became Volvo Car Corporation's President and Chief Executive on August 16, replacing Stephen Odell, who became chief executive of Ford Europe. Li Shufu became Volvo Cars' Chairman of the Board. His board members include Vice-Chairman Hans-Olov Olsson, a former president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, and Håkan Samuelsson, formerly chief executive of MAN. Safety

Volvo cars have long been marketed and stressed their historic reputation for solidity and reliability. Prior to strong government safety regulation Volvo had been in the forefront of safety engineering.

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 1964 and introduced its own booster seat in 1978.

In 1986, Volvo introduced the first central high-mounted stoplight not in citation given (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.

To add to its SIPS, in 1995 Volvo was the first to introduce side airbags and installed them as standard equipment needed in all models in 1996. At the start of the 1995 model year, side impact protection airbags were standard on high trim-level Volvo 850s, and optional on other 850s. By the middle of the production year, they were standard on all 850s. In Model Year 1996, SIPS airbags became standard on all Volvo models.

In 1998 Volvo also developed and was the first to install a head-protecting airbag, which was made standard in all new models as well as some existing models. The head-protecting airbag was not available on the 1996 C70 due to the initial design deploying the airbag from the roof; the C70, being a convertible, could not accommodate such an airbag. Later years of the C70 featured a head-protecting airbag deploying upwards from the door, negating the issue of roof position. It has been stated by many testing authorities that side head protecting curtain airbags can reduce risk of death in a side impact by up to 40% and brain injury by up to 55%, as well as protecting in a rollover situation.

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. 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. 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.[citation needed] Additionally, a heartbeat sensor warns if someone is hiding inside the car. The all new Volvo S80 is also the first Volvo model to feature Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS).

Since 2004 all Volvo models except for the coupes (C70 and C30) are available with an all-wheel drive system developed by Haldex Traction of Sweden.

Even though 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, including SIPS, WHIPS, ROPS, DSTC, IC, and body structures. 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.

A 2005 FOLKSAM report puts the 740/940 (from 1982 on) in the 15% better than average category, the second from the top category. The Volvo 745 was also recalled due to that the front seatbelts mounts could break in a collision.

In 2005, when the American non-profit, non-governmental Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its first annual Top Safety Picks vehicles list, none of Volvo's offered vehicles in the U.S. were included on the list. According to Russ Rader, a spokesman for IIHS, Volvo was lagging behind its competitors. 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."

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Volvo's S80 became one of 2009 Top Safety Picks Award winner, but Volvo's S40 and S60 (both 2005–09 models with standard side airbags) failed to attain the highest rating in their side impact test. Volvo's C30 is not tested by IIHS yet, but received 5 star safety in EuroNCAP.

However, according to the IIHS, in recent years Volvo Cars have still managed to maintain their high class safety ratings as seen in test results. The Volvo XC90, S80[46] and C70 all score top scores in these rated crash tests.

In 2008 a French court found Volvo partially responsible for causing the death of two children and serious injuries of one in Wasselonne on June 17, 1999, when the brakes of a 1996 Volvo 850 failed. The court subjected Volvo to a 200,000 Euro fine.
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