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.
The name Volvo, is Latin for "I roll". The Volvo symbol is an ancient chemistry sign for iron. The iron sign is used to symbolize the strength of iron used in the car as Sweden is known for its quality iron. The diagonal line (a strip of metal) across the grille came about to hold the actual symbol, a circle with an arrow, in front of the radiator.
Volvo produces models ranging from SUVs, station wagons (estates), and sedans (saloons), to compact executive sedans and coupes. 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.
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.
Volvo uses a system of letters denoting body style followed by the series number. S stands for saloon or sedan, C stands for coupé or convertible and V stands for versatile as in estate car. 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") that is smaller than the V70.
Originally, Volvo was planning a different naming scheme. S and C were to be the same, but "F", standing for flexibility, was to be used on station wagons. When Volvo introduced the first generation S40 and V40 at Frankfurt in 1994, they were announced as the S4 and F4. However, Audi complained that it had inherent rights to the S4 name, since it names its sporty vehicles "S", and the yet-introduced sport version of the Audi A4 would have the S4 name. Volvo agreed to add a second digit, so the vehicles became the S40 and F40. However, that led to a complaint from Ferrari, who used the Ferrari F40 name on their legendary sports car. This led to Volvo switching the "F" to "V", for versatile.
Volvo Auto India is a relatively new operator in India, which is a gigantic and fast-growing market, besides being one of the most competitive in the world. Volvo established a presence in India just over two years ago and has since then worked intensively to market the Swedish brand. With a corporate office in Gurgaon, Volvo Cars opened its first dealership in Chandigarh in March 2008 and currently markets its products through its dealerships in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kochi and Pune.
So far Volvo Auto India has chosen to launch two models, the Volvo XC90 and Volvo S80 but in the coming years they are lining up more new models. Plans are on to bring in the Volvo XC60. Volvo XC90 R-Design made its first appearance in a popular Bollywood film, 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. The film was released on December 25, 2009.