By Rod Ward
Volvo was set up in 1915, a subsidiary of the SKF ball bearing firm. In 1927 the first car was built in Gothenburg, the ÖV4 Jakob, the first lorry in 1928. In 1935 AB Volvo became an independent company with its own engine production plant after the acquisition of Penta. the first Volvo bus appeared in 1934, and the company grew in the 1930s, adding aero engine production as war clouds loomed. In the postwar years Volvo cars (the PV444-544, Amazon and others) as well as their trucks and buses, gained a worldwide reputation for their sturdy construction and reliability. In the 1970s Volvo took over Daf cars, thus extending their range to include smaller vehicles. From the 1980s onwards Volvo’s share of the car market declined as more competitors entered their premium market. In 2000 Volvo Group sold their car-making division to the Ford Motor Co, who sold it on in 2010 to Geely of China. The bus and truck side of the business prospered, however. In 2001 Volvo Group acquired Renault (and Mack) trucks, in return for which Renault got 20% of Volvo Group. In 2007 Volvo took over Nissan Diesel, the Japanese commercial vehicle firm.