This April, Volvo celebrates its 90th birthday with the start of production for the XC60 mid-size SUV in Gothenburg, Sweden. The new XC60 leaves the factory 90 years to the month after the first-ever Volvo, the OV4, was rolled out on April 14, 1927. The first model sold a total of 275 units in its lifetime, which is quite an astonishing feat to achieve back then.
First introduced in 2008, the XC60 has witnessed a steady growth in terms of sales. Seven years later, the model earned the title of bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe and currently in its ninth year, continues to be a best-seller. Reports indicate that currently the XC60 represents around 30 per cent of Volvo’s total global sales, and the company claims that this month the number of original XC60s produced will surpass 1,000,000.
Speaking on the occasion, Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars, “Volvo is very proud of its history. The past 90 years have been exciting, but the 10 years left until the 100-year anniversary may come to be more exciting as industry focus shifts to autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity. The new XC60 is in many ways the embodiment of these trends.” Making the XC60 safer than ever before, the new model gets Oncoming Lane Mitigation system with steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions. The optional Pilot Assist function, semi-autonomous driver-assistance system maintains steering, acceleration and braking on marked roads at speeds of up to 130kph.
The first mass-produced Swedish car featured quite a conventional design, much like an American car design, it was built over a wooden frame made of ash tree and beech. It was powered by a 1.9-litre side-valve engine and featured artillery wheels with wooden spokes.