1927 AB Volvo is founded

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The birth of Volvo
1927 1950 1 Read more

SKF, the Swedish Ball Bearing Factory (Svenska Kullagerfabriken), in Gothenburg played a central role in the establishment of AB Volvo. Assar Gabrielson came to work for SKF in 1916 with a commercial education and soon became the company’s representative in Paris. Noting the demand for Swedish products, he began to think about manufacturing cars. In 1923 Gabrielsson returned to Gothenburg as Sales Director for SKF.

The following year he met engineer Gustaf Larson, who had gained experience in the automobile industry, including in England. Together they developed the idea of creating “The Swedish Car”.

The company AB Volvo was established in 1927 as a subsidiary of SKF. Already in 1915 SKF had registered the trademark “Volvo” to market a range of its products. The word itself is Latin for “I roll”. The name was then adopted by the new car company, which produced 297 cars in its first year of production.

In 1930 Volvo acquired the Pentaverken engine plant in Skövde, providing the company with engines of its own. The company had also begun manufacturing trucks. During the Second World War, Volvo manufactured armoured tanks for the Swedish Army, as production of passenger cars was forbidden by the government. This also inspired the company to develop its own agricultural tractor with a carburettor engine and a transmission sourced from Bolinder-Munktell. Following the war Volvo continued tractor production along the same lines, and in 1950 Volvo acquired Bolinder-Munktell from previous owner Handelsbanken.

Volvo T 41

Volvo T 41

The first Volvo cars leave the assembly line

The first Volvo cars leave the assembly line.

Assar Gabrielson

Assar Gabrielson