May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Volvo LogoBrief History About Volvo

Volvo Cars was founded in 1927 in Sweden by the SKF ball bearing company. Their ethos from the start was to build cars with safety in mind and have been at the forefront of many safety devices, features and innovations within the auto industry.

Also like many car manufacturers at the time they became involved in motorsport events and entered cars in various rally events.

In 1956/57 Volvo built a 2 seater sports car called the P1900, but low demand limited sales in Sweden to just 67/68 cars. Undeterred they then brought out the more successful P1800 in 1961, much recognised as the car driven by Simon Templar in the hit TV series The Saint.

In 1970 Volvo acquired the DAF car division.

During the 80’s Volvo did well, but as the Japanese branded cars started to export more of their cars, started to lose out to them.

During the 90’s Volvo stayed with its safe cars, but also got involved in touring car racing and added more powerful and faster versions of their model line-up, starting with the 850 (T5/T-5R). They also created a factory racing team in 1996 called Polestar Racing, which they now use to also build even more sporty versions of their mainstream cars.

In 1999 Volvo sold its car division to Ford. However by 2008, with the global economic crisis, Ford had to sell off areas of its business, which included Volvo. Eventually in 2009 Volvo was bought by the Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Volvo P1800
P1800 1961-1973

Volvo 480
480 Turbo 1988-1995

Volvo 850 T5
850 T5 & 850R 1993-1996

Volvo S40
S40 T4 1997-2003

Volvo S40
S40 T5 2004-2012

Volvo S60
S60 2000 on

Volvo S89
S80 1998 on

Volvo C70
C70 T5 1997-2002

Volvo C30
C30 T5 2007-2012