In the early 1920s, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larsson decided they wanted to make cars that were not only suitable for the Swedish climate, but also provided maximum protection for the occupants. At the time, Gabrielsson worked for the Swedish ball bearing manufacturer SKF, which had already registered the Volvo brand name in 1915 for operations in America. Since Volvo means ‘I roll’ in Latin, it is not surprising that the ball bearing manufacturer came up with this brand name.
In 1959, Volvo was the first car brand to introduce the three-point seat belt. In 1964, Volvo presented the rear-facing child seat, which in the event of a frontal collision provided optimal protection for the little one in that seat. In 1974 the Volvos were fitted with shock-absorbing bumpers. In 1976, Volvo introduced the raised child seat, on which children who no longer fit in a child seat could still be safely transported in the seat belt and could see out. With the lambda sensor from the same year, Volvo ensured that harmful emissions from the cars were greatly reduced.
Volvo took over the passenger car branch of the Dutch DAF in 1974. Mitsubishi became part owner of the Volvo factory in Born in 1992, where the name NedCar appeared on the facade. In 2001 Volvo sold its interest in the Dutch factory. The NedCar factory produced the Volvo 300, 400 and 40 series, among others, until 2004.
In 1998 Volvo sold the passenger car branch to Ford. In 2010, the Chinese Geely took over Volvo from Ford.