Volvo Cars celebrates its 90th birthday in April with the production of the first new XC60 SUV
Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, will this month start production of its new XC60 mid-size SUV in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The new XC60 will leave the factory 90 years to the month after the first ever Volvo, the ÖV4, saw the light of day on April 14th 1927.
This first Volvo sold a total of 275 vehicles in its life time, which was modest even in those days. The new XC60 replaces one of the best-selling model in Volvo’s 90-year history.
The new XC60 replaces the old
Volvo’s original XC60 became a phenomenon with climbing sales every years since it was first introduced in 2008. Seven years after it was revealed, it became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe and in its ninth year it is still the best seller.
The current XC60 today represents around 30 per cent of Volvo’s total global sales of 966,000 and this month the number of original XC60’s produced will surpass 1,000,000.
“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,” says Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. “The new XC60 is in many ways the embodiment of these trends.”
The new XC60 is one of the safest cars ever made and offers the latest in safety technology, including the new Oncoming Lane Mitigation system which uses a steer assist to help mitigate headon collisions.
Volvo’s semi-autonomous driver assistance system, Pilot Assist, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the new XC60 as an option.
With the new XC60 now on the market and gradually becoming available for order on markets across the globe, Volvo is set for another record year of sales in 2017.
90 year anniversary
Volvo’s founder Assar Gabrielsson saw an opportunity for car manufacturing in Sweden after having observed the growing auto industries in the U.S and Europe from his position within sales at the Swedish ball bearing maker SKF, a supplier to the car industry.
Pointing towards Sweden’s readily accessible steel, cheap labour and skilled engineers, he managed to convince SKF to invest in a spin-off car business called AB Volvo.
The first mass-produced Swedish car was quite a conventional vehicle with elements of American car design, a wooden frame made of ash tree and beech, a 1.9 litre side valve engine and artillery wheels with wooden spokes.
Only one colour combination was available: dark blue with black fenders.
Despite all these changes over the last 90 years, one thing has remained the same, the company’s commitment to making the world’s safest cars.
Note to editors
Volvo Car Group in 2016
For the 2016 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 11,014 MSEK (6,620 MSEK in 2015). Revenue over the period amounted to 180,672 MSEK (164,043 MSEK). For the full year 2016, global sales reached a record 534,332 cars, an increase of 6.2 per cent versus 2015. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 534,332 cars in 2016 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2016, Volvo Cars had over 31,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).