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Volvo Personvagnar AB
Volvo Car Corporation
Type Subsidiary
Industry Automotive
Founded 1927 (liquidating)
Founder(s) SKF, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson
Headquarters Gothenburg, Sweden
Key people Li Shufu (Chairman)
Stefan Jacoby (President and CEO),
Hans-Olov Olsson (Vice-Chairman)
Products Automobiles, Engines
Revenue US$16.697 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income US$345.463 million (2010)[1]
Employees 19,494 (2010)[1]
Parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[1] In 2010, Volvo recorded global sales of 373,525 cars, an increase of 11.2% compared to 2009.[4]

Volvos are often compared to, and nicknamed, tractors,[5][6] 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,[7] thus earning the distinction, "brick",[8] as a term of endearment for the classic, block-shaped Volvo, with the more powerful turbocharged variants known as "turbobricks".[8] 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).[9]

Volvo is known for its high safety standards. Owners are often proud of achieving high mileage;[10] 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.[11] According to some figures, the average age of a Volvo being discarded is 19.8 years, second only to Mercedes.[12]



List of Volvo models

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File:Volvo 740 estate.jpg
1987 Volvo 740, one of the few European passenger cars that can harbor a Europallet in its luggage compartment.

Early years

Tri-digit nomenclature

Starting with the 140 series in 1966, Volvo used a tri-digit 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.

Post tri-digit models

File:1998 Volvo V70.jpg
1998 Volvo V70 estate

Concept cars

Engine types

Volvo uses in-line, or straight engines in their production vehicles. Volvo is also known for the application of the in-line 5-cylinder engine to its vehicle line up since its introduction in 1993 in the Volvo 850.

  • Side valve six – fitted into the PV651/2, TR671/4, PV653/4, TR676/9, PV658/9, PV36, PV51/2, PV53/6, PV801/2, PV821/2, PV831/2 and PV60 from 1929 to 1958
  • B4B and B14A – fitted into the Volvo PV and Volvo Duett from 1947 to 1956
  • B16 (A and B) – fitted into the PV, Duett and Volvo Amazon from 1957 to 1960
  • B18 and B20 – 1.8 L/2.0 L OHV 8v fitted into all Volvo models from 1961 to 1974 except 164 (and 1975 U.S. Spec 240 models).
  • B19,   B21,   and B23 – fitted from 1975
  • B200 and B230 – 2.0 L and 2.3 L, respectively, SOHC 8v fitted to 240, 360, 700, 940 series cars from 1985
  • B204 and B234 – 2.0 L and 2.3 L DOHC 16 valve engines
  • B27/B28 and B280 – 2.7 and 2.8 L SOHC 12v developed together with Renault and Peugeot
  • B30 – fitted to all 164 models


Volvo automatic transmissions in the past were made by the ZF Friedrichshafen company, but now the transmissions are co-developed with Aisin of Japan. Geartronic is Volvo Cars' name for its manumatic transmission.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. "China's Geely completes acquisition of Volvo". Associated Press. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. Template:Dead link
  3. "Ford closes deal with China's Geely to sell Volvo". MarketWatch. 28 March 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  4. "Volvo Car Corporation 2010 Car Sales +11.2% Vs 2009 -". 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  5. "SvD: Volvo på väg mot Kina" (in (Swedish)). 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  6. DI: Skoda utmanar Torslandas traktorfabrikTemplate:Dead link
  7. "Kraniel Konsument: Konsumenttest Hult Healey". 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Unleashing the Muscle Car Inside the Trusty Volvo, NY Times (March 3, 2005)
  9. Volvo 240 Turbo Group 'A' racing information, Anthony Hyde
  10. UK High Mileage register Volvo Club UK
  11. "Irv Gordon aims for 3 million miles in his Volvo P1800". 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  12. "Vehicles discarded against refund, 2000: Mercedes and Volvo last longer". Retrieved 2010-11-23. 

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