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Volvo

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Volvo Car Corporation, or Volvo Personvagnar, is an automobile maker that was founded in 1927 in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden. Volvo, which is Latin for "I roll," was formed as a spin-off from roller ball bearing maker SKF. Volvo Cars was owned by AB Volvo until 1999, when it was acquired by the Ford Motor Company and placed in its Ford Premier Automotive Group. Globally, Volvo is marketed as a premium car, with the intent to compete with Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Saab. Volvo has 2,500 dealerships worldwide in 100 markets; 60% of sales come from Europe, 30% from North America, and the other 10% is from the rest of the world. As a premium car manufacturer, Volvo's flagship models tend to be luxurious, while their entry-level models do not.

Safety

The Volvo 660 FH16 truck along with the Volvo S80.
Enlarge
The Volvo 660 FH16 truck along with the Volvo S80.

Since the 1950s, Volvo cars have had a reputation for safety, starting in 1944 with the use of laminated glass in the PV model. The PV series cars were also among the first to have what Volvo called a 'safety body' (what is now called a unibody). The Volvo design team invented both the 'safety cage' and 'crumple zone' concept, where passengers are protected in a strong, encircling frame and the energy of a crash is absorbed by destruction of the hood or trunk of the car. Volvo also invented the easy-to-use three-point seatbelt; first introduced as an accessory in 1957 and made standard on all Volvo cars in 1959. All these safety features are now standard in all cars and are responsible for saving millions of lives.

Volvo also 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 taillights), which became federally mandated in the 1986 model year. Seatbelt and child seat innovation continued as shown in the 1991 960. The 960 introduced the first three-point seatbelt 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, such as the Aston Martin DB9.

By the mid-1990s there was little to distinguish Volvo from some other manufacturers (notably Renault) on safety when put through tests such as EuroNCAP as other manufacturers caught up when they realised the marketing potential of safety. 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. A Volvo spokesperson denied that the company's vehicles are any less safe than the Institute's top-rated vehicles.

Acquisitions

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, as one of the largest truck manufacturers in the world, took the initiative to sell its automobile manufacturing in 1998 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, 1998, and in the following year an acquisition was completed at a price of $6.45 billion USD.

As a result of the divestiture, the Volvo name is now utilized by two separate companies:

The Volvo™ trademark is now jointly owned (50/50) by Volvo and Ford. One of the main promotional activities for the trademark is the sailing contest Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread Around the World Cup. There is also a Volvo Baltic Race, and Volvo likes to encourage its affluent image by sponsoring golf tournaments all over the world.

Car models

Early ages

Three-numbered Volvos

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; the 745 was a 4-cylinder wagon. However there were exceptions to this rule—the 780 for example was a two-door sport coupe with turbocharged I4 and 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.

Models with current denomination

Today, the company uses a system of letters denoting body style followed by the series number. Although not official, it is fairly accepted that S stands for saloon or sedan, C stands for coupé or convertible and V stands for versatile or estate car. V has also been identified as meaning vagon, or wagon, and is used strictly for the station wagon line (In Sweden, they pronounce their W's like V's). 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") in the smaller 40/50 series.

Volvo R-range logo
Volvo R-range logo

Concept cars

Engine types

  • 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 (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

Transmissions

Sales

Volvo Cars sales during 2005 (2004).

By market

1. United States 123575 (139155)
2. Sweden 52696 (51464)
3. United Kingdom 38307 (40159)
4. Germany 35035 (38085)
5. Italy 20533 (19390)
6. Netherlands 18879 (19225)
7. Spain 18335 (15925)
8. Japan 13427 (13919)
9. Belgium 12638 (12929)
10. Canada 11651 (11651)

All markets: 443947 (456224)

By model

1. XC90 85994
2. V50 83202
3. S40 75136
4. V70 70156*
5. S60 62528

  • Almost 40% (27999) of the V70's manufactured during 2005, were sold in Sweden, where it has been the best selling car for several years.

See Also

image (between 170-190 pixels)
VOLVO

Geely Holding Group


Zhejiang Geely Automobile | Shanghai Maple Guorun Automobile | Volvo


Current Models: S80 · V70 · S60 · V60 · S40 · V50 · C70 · C30 · XC60 · XC70 · XC90

Historic Models: P1900 · P1800 · PV · 66 · Volvo Amazon · 850 · 200 series · 300 series · 700 series · 400 series · 480 · · · ·

Racing Models: S60 BTCS · C30 STCC

Concept Cars: XC60 Concept · 3CC · VCC · YCC · ACC · ACC2 · SCC · LCP2000 · ReCharge Concept · XC70 Surf Rescue Concept · S60 Concept · Air Motion Concept

Commercial Trucks: FH16 · FMX


Engines · Transmission · Technologies


Assar Gabrielsson Corporate website A brand of the Geely Automobile Group



Volvo, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company
Road car timeline, 1960-present Edit
Type 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
0123456789 0123456789 0123456789 0123456789 0123456789
Compact 544
340
360
480 C30
440 / 460
S40 / V40 S40 / V50
Family car Amazon / 120 / 130
140 240
Duett 740
940
850 S70 / V70 S60 / V70
Luxury sedan/wagon 164 760 960 S/V90 S80 S80
260
Sport P1800 1800S 1800E 1800ES 242 GT 240 Turbo 850 T5-R 850 R 850 T5 / R S/V70 T5 / R S/V70 R S60/V70 T5 S60/V70 R
Luxury Coupé 262C 780 C70 C70
SUV XC90
Type 0123456789 0123456789 0123456789 0123456789 0123456789
1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

References

  • "Volvo Launches High-Tech Systems That Alert Tired & Distracted Drivers". Retrieved from Carscoop [1]
  • "Volvo launches new driver alert system". Retrieved from Motor Authority [2]
  • "Volvo Launches Driver Alert Control". Retrieved from World Car Fans[3]
  • "Volvo AlcoGuard: Fuel-Cell Tech Breathalyzer". Retrieved from Carscoop [4]
  • "Volvo’s Future Road Safety Technologies". Retrieved from Carscoop [5]

External links

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