|Publicly traded Aktiebolag|
|Traded as||OMX: VOLV B|
|Founder||Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson|
|Olof Persson (President and CEO)|
|Products||Volvo Trucks, Volvo Buses, Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Penta, financial services|
|Revenue||SEK 303.6 billion (2012)|
|SEK 17.6 billion (2012)|
Number of employees
|110 000 (Feb 2014)|
|Subsidiaries||Mack Trucks, Renault Trucks, UD Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Buses, Volvo Trucks, Volvo Penta
VE Commercial Vehicles (50%)
The Volvo Group (Swedish: Volvokoncernen; legally Aktiebolaget Volvo, usually shortened to AB Volvo) is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg. Its principal activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses and construction equipment. Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems and financial services. Although the two firms are still often conflated, Volvo Cars, also based in Gothenburg, has been a totally separate company since it was sold off in 1999. The companies still share the Volvo logo and co-operate in running the Volvo Museum.
Volvo was established in 1915 as a subsidiary of SKF, the ball bearing manufacturer, however the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars consider themselves to have been officially founded on 14 April 1927, when the first car, the Volvo ÖV 4 series, affectionately known as "Jakob", rolled out of the factory in Hisingen, Gothenburg.
Volvo means "I roll" in Latin, conjugated from "volvere", in relation to ball bearings. The brand name Volvo was originally registered as a trademark in May 1911 with the intention to be used for a new series of SKF ball bearings. This idea was only used for a short period and SKF decided to simply use "SKF" as the trademark for all its bearing products.
In 1924, Assar Gabrielsson, an SKF sales manager, and engineer Gustav Larson, the two founders, decided to start construction of a Swedish car. Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of the country's rough roads and cold temperatures.
AB Volvo began activities on 10 August 1926. After one year of preparations involving the production of ten prototypes the firm was ready to commence the car-manufacturing business within the SKF group. AB Volvo was introduced at the Stockholm stock exchange in 1935 and SKF then decided to sell its shares in the company. Volvo was delisted from NASDAQ in June 2007, but remains listed on the Stockholm exchange.
The Volvo Group has its origin in 1927, when the first Volvo car rolled off the production line at the factory in Gothenburg. Only 280 cars were built that year. The first truck, the "Series 1", debuted in January 1928, as an immediate success and attracted attention outside the country. In 1930, Volvo sold 639 cars, and the export of trucks to Europe started soon after; the cars did not become well-known outside Sweden until after World War II.
Pentaverken, who had manufactured engines for Volvo, was acquired in 1935, providing a secure supply of engines and entry into the marine engine market.
The first bus, named B1, was launched in 1934, and aircraft engines were added to the growing range of products at the beginning of the 1940s. In 1963, Volvo opened the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant, the first assembly plant in the company's history outside of Sweden in Halifax, Canada. In 1999, the European Union blocked a merger with Scania AB.
Volvo Group sold its car division Volvo Car Corporation to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion during 2000, it was placed within the Premier Automotive Group alongside Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Volvo engineering resources and components would be used in various Ford, Land Rover and Aston Martin products, with the second generation Land Rover Freelander designed on the same platform as the second generation Volvo S80. The Volvo T5 petrol engine was used in the Ford Focus ST and RS performance models, and Volvo's satellite navigation system was used on certain Aston Martin Vanquish, DB9 and V8 Vantage models.
Ford sold the Volvo Car Corporation in 2010 to Geely Automobile of China for $1.8 billion, following on from their sale of Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 and Aston Martin in 2007.
Renault Véhicules Industriels (which included Mack Trucks, but not Renault's stake in Irisbus) was sold to Volvo during January 2001, Volvo renamed it Renault Trucks in 2002. Renault became AB Volvo's biggest shareholder with a 19.9% stake (in shares and voting rights) as part of the deal. Renault increased its shareholding to 21.7% by 2010.
AB Volvo acquired 13% of the shares in the Japanese truck manufacturer UD Trucks (the former Nissan Diesel) from Nissan Motor Co Ltd (part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance) during 2006 becoming a major shareholder. Volvo Group took complete ownership of Nissan Diesel in 2007 to extend its presence in the Asian Pacific market.
Renault sold 14.9% of their stake in AB Volvo in October 2010 (comprising 14.9% of the share capital and 3.8% of the voting rights) for €3.02bn. This share sale left Renault with around 17.5% of Volvo's voting rights. Renault sold their remaining shares in December 2012 (comprising 6.5% of the share capital and 17.2% of the voting rights at the time of transaction) for €1.6bn, leaving Swedish industrial investment group Aktiebolaget Industrivärden as the largest shareholder, with 6.2% of the share capital and 18.7% of the voting rights.
Volvo Group's operations include:
- Mack Trucks (light-duty trucks for close distribution and heavy-duty trucks for long distance transportation)
- Renault Trucks (heavy-duty trucks for regional transportations and heavy-duty trucks for the construction work segment)
- SDLG (Shandong Lingong Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., China)
- UD Trucks (midsize-duty trucks)
- Volvo Buses (complete buses and bus chassis for city traffic, line traffic and tourist traffic)
- VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd (VECV), a 50:50 joint venture between the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Limited
- Volvo Construction Equipment (construction machines) (previously Volvo BM, see also AB Bolinder-Munktell)
- Volvo Financial Services (customer financing, inter-group banking, as real estate administration)
- Volvo Information Technology
- Volvo Penta (marine engine systems for leisure boats and commercial shipping, diesel engines and drive systems for industrial applications)
- Volvo Trucks (midsize-duty trucks for regional transportation and heavy-duty trucks for long distance transportation, as well as heavy-duty trucks for the construction work segment)
Volvo Trademark Holding AB is equally owned by AB Volvo and Volvo Car Corporation.
The main activity of the company is to own, maintain, protect and preserve the Volvo trademarks (including Volvo, the Volvo device marks (grille slash & iron mark) Volvo Aero and Volvo Penta) on behalf of its owners and to license these rights to its owners. The day-to-day work is focused upon maintaining the global portfolio of trademark registrations and to extend sufficiently the scope of the registered protection for the Volvo trademarks.
- Eicher (50:50 joint venture with Eicher Motors, India)
- Mack Trucks
- Nova Bus
- Renault Trucks
- SDLG (Shandong Lingong, China)
- UD Trucks
- Volvo Buses
- Volvo Cars
- Volvo Construction Equipment
- Volvo Financial Services
- Volvo Penta
- Volvo Rents
- Volvo Trucks
- "Annual Results 2012" (PDF). Volvo. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
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- "History time-line : Volvo Group – Global". Volvo.com. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
- "AB Volvo applies for delisting from Nasdaq". Forbes. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- Volvo Group Global. "Volvo 80 years". Volvo.com. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- Georgano, G. N. Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886–1930. (London: Grange-Universal, 1985) ISBN 9781590844915
- "Volvo 80 years : Volvo Group – Global". Volvo.com. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
- "1930 - History: Volvo Penta". Volvo Penta. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Simister, John (November 2006). "Volvo C30 T5 SE". Evo (magazine)/Evo. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
The T5 petrol engine is almost the same as the one borrowed from Volvo by Ford for the Focus ST...
- "ASTON'S CLEARER ADVANTAGE". The Scotsman. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
The optional satellite navigation remains a Volvo-sourced system that is absurdly fiddly.
- Simister, John (December 2006). "Land Rover Freelander". Evo (magazine)/Evo. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
But it’s good news for the new ‘Freelander 2’, based on the S-Max/S80/next-Mondeo platform, powered in the top model by a 229bhp Volvo straight-six
- "Volvo sale signed by Geely and Ford". BBC News (BBC). 28 March 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "AB VOLVO TRANSFER REMAINING SHARES TO RENAULT S.A". Volvo. 9 February 2001. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Renault raises €3bn with part-sale of Volvo stake". The Daily Telegraph. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Volvo in $1.1bn Nissan purchase". BBC News (BBC). 20 February 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Pearson, David (12 December 2012). "Renault to Sell Rest of Its Volvo Stake". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Industrivärden strengthens its ownership position in Volvo". Industrivärden. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Volvo Annual Report 1999". .volvo.com. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "The Volvo Brand Name, Volvo Annual Report 1999". .volvo.com. Retrieved 6 November 2010.