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Volvo Group

legal form Aktiebolag
ISIN SE0000115420
founding 1927
Seat Gothenburg , SwedenSwedenSweden 
management Martin Lundstedt
Number of employees 103,985 (end of 2019)
sales 431.98 billion crowns (2019)
Branch Commercial vehicle manufacturer
As of December 31, 2019

The Volvo Group ( Latin volvo 'I roll' ) is a listed diversified Swedish manufacturer of commercial vehicles , buses and chassis under the brands Volvo , Prevost , Nova Bus and MASA ( Volvo Buses ), trucks of the brands Volvo ( Volvo Trucks ), Renault , Mack and Nissan as well as construction machinery and marine engines ( Volvo Penta ).

Volvo was originally founded as a car manufacturer in 1927 , but sold the Volvo Car Corporation division to Ford in 1999 , which in turn sold to the Chinese Geely Group in 2010 . The Volvo brand and trademark were transferred to Volvo Trade Mark Holding in 1999 ; they are shared between the Volvo Group and Volvo Car Corporation . In December 2017 it was announced that the owner of Volvo Cars , the Chinese vehicle group Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. , has become the largest shareholder in the Volvo Group's commercial vehicle division with 8.2% .


Volvo was founded in 1915 by the Swedish ball bearing manufacturer SKF as a testing department. Initially, the only goal was to build test cars to test the rolling bearings, which were new at the time . In 1926/1927, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson founded Volvo as an independent company. SKF held shares in Volvo until 1935. The founding years, which are often named differently, result from this fact. From 1936 to the late 1950s, Brazil had its own company, Volvo do Brasil Ltda. for the Latin American market. It was not until 1977 that Volvo do Brasil was re-established in Curitiba .

In 1959, Volvo was the first car manufacturer to introduce the three-point seat belt as standard, which the Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin had invented for the group. After Sweden switched to right-hand traffic in 1967 , sales of car and truck models increased, especially since new model types such as the Volvo 140 and the Volvo F88 / F89 truck were just being introduced. However, the buses had to be ready with doors on the right-hand side by the date of the changeover, so that a great demand arose shortly beforehand. As a result of the sudden rejuvenation of the wagon fleet at the bus companies, sales of buses in Germany then fell drastically, and no significant sales figures were expected in Volvo's main sales area (at that time there was hardly any export) for the next ten to twelve years. The management actually wanted to stop building buses, especially since the bus models from the second Swedish manufacturer Scania -Vabis were more popular at the time. Instead, the plan of the Volvo bus specialist Stig-Arne Olson was applied in 1968 and the Volvo Bus Division was founded as an independent department in the Volvo Group. Due to shorter decision-making processes, it was possible to achieve greater export successes through deliveries in particular to Switzerland, Great Britain and France, but also overseas. In 1969, the Volvo Truck Division and the Volvo Passenger Car Division were formed based on the same model . Due to the great (export) successes of the F88 / F89 truck series and their successors, the F10 and F12, production capacities had to be increased. Therefore, in Belgium, the construction of Volvo models has started in a new plant. In addition, the bus division was relocated to a newly established assembly plant for the construction of bus chassis in Viared near Borås .

Until 1973, Volvo was a pure vehicle company. After that, however, there were many investments and takeovers in other segments. The then CEO Pehr G. Gyllenhammar developed Volvo over the years into a multicompany.

On March 30, 1988, Volvo bought the British company Leyland Buses with the factory in Workington , where in addition to the double-decker bus (chassis) Olympian and the single-decker bus Lynx from 1990 buses of the mid-engine type B10M are also produced. The sales organization VL Bus & Coach existed from January 1, 1989 before Volvo Bus Ltd. completely took over. In 1993 the factory in Workington was shut down and bus production in Great Britain now took place in Irvine .

At the shareholders' meeting in April 1994, the then chairman of the board, Sören Gyll, presented the end of diversification . From then on, Volvo concentrated almost entirely on its core business and gradually sold - with the exception of the aforementioned Volvo Financial  - all other former Volvo subsidiaries outside the vehicle segment .

In 1998, Volvo sold its truck rear axles to Meritor . The Group's original core business, the passenger car division, was sold to Ford in 1999 .

In January 2001 Volvo took over the commercial vehicles division of Renault Renault Véhicules Industriels (RVI) including the Mack Trucks brand , but without Renault's share in Irisbus . RVI was renamed Renault Trucks in 2002 . In return, Renault received around 20% of the shares in AB Volvo . In October 2010, all common shares and 3.8% of the voting shares were sold, so that Renault currently still owns 17.5% of the voting shares.

Volvo Trade Mark Holding

The Volvo Trade Mark Holding exists to ensure that the public continues to see the Volvo name as a unit and that the image of one manufacturer does not fundamentally differ from that of the other . This was founded at the same time as the sale of the Volvo Car Corporation (Volvo Personvagnar) to Ford by Volvo boss Leif Johannson and the then Ford CEO Jacques Nasser. This company manages the name "Volvo" and thus results in important marketing strategic aspects, both motor vehicle manufacturers together again: 50% each of the shares of Volvo Trademark Holding include the Volvo Cars , the other 50% belong to the Volvo Group . The company's CEOs are, on the one hand, Volvo Personvagnar CEO Stafan Jacoby and the CEO of the Volvo Group , Leif Johannson , on an equal footing . The bodies of Volvo Trademark Holding consisting of employees of Volvo Cars and Volvo Group consist, meet regularly and discuss joint sponsorship activities such. B. the Volvo Ocean Race , manage logos and lettering of the brand and ensure that the brand continues to maintain a uniform status in public.

In October 2012, a revised logo was presented at the launch of the Volvo V40 car.

Group structure

The company's headquarters are in Gothenburg , Sweden . The Volvo group of companies employs around 100,000 (2007) people worldwide.

Since the founding of the Volvo group of companies, trucks (Volvo Trucks, as well as Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks today), construction machinery ( Volvo Construction Equipment ) and buses (Volvo Buses) have been part of the product range. The truck division was the most important with a 67% share of sales in 2014. Construction machinery made a significant contribution to sales with 19%. The bus and coach division generated 6% of total sales.

The group also includes Volvo Penta (industrial and marine engines, 3% share of sales) and until 2012 Volvo Aero (engines and parts for aerospace). The Volvo Group also owns Volvo Financial Services (3% share of sales) and Volvo Construction Equipment (construction machinery, 19% share of sales). Volvo Financial is the only remaining Volvo division outside of the vehicle segment.

The Volvo Group is particularly active in Western Europe and North America, with 38% and 27% respectively. In Asia, 18% of sales are generated. The South America region should be mentioned with a 10% share of sales. The rest is spread across the rest of the world.


Timeline of Volvo - and Renault -Nutzfahrzeugmarken since 1900
brand 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Western star White Western Star Western star to DC
Autocar to White
White WhiteGMC Volvo
GMC (truck) GMC truck WhiteGMC Volvo
Volvo trucks Volvo
Volvo Buses Volvo
Leyland (bus) to BLMC Volvo
Renault Trucks Renault Saviem RVI Renault
Latil Saviem RVI Renault
SOMUA Saviem RVI Renault
Berliet to Citroën RVI Renault
Dodge -UK Dodge on PPE Renault
Commer at Rootes to Chrysler Dodge on PPE Renault
Career at Rootes to Chrysler Dodge on PPE Renault
Barreiros to Chrysler Dodge on PPE Renault
Mack Trucks Mack bus Mack Trucks to Renault VI
UD trucks Nippon Diesel Minsei Diesel UD Nissan Diesel UD trucks
Buses … ... from Renault, Saviem and Berliet Irisbus to Iveco
Sodomka / Karosa Sodomka Karosa to Renault VI Irisbus
ACMAT ALM ACMAT Renault Trucks
  •  Brand of an independent company with truck production before takeover by Volvo or Renault, possibly already active in other areas beforehand
  •  Brand of Renault or subsidiary
  • Brand of the Volvo Group, in which Renault had a 20% stake and currently still holds 17.5% of the voting rights
  •  Brand or majority sold or transferred to an independent company
  • Trucks

    Volvo Trucks is the second largest manufacturer of heavy trucks in the world. The majority of sales are concentrated in Western Europe, North and South America and Asia.

    Renault Trucks is one of the major truck manufacturers in Europe. The company offers all types of commercial vehicles: from light trucks for urban distribution transport to special vehicles and heavy trucks for long-distance freight transport. As early as the 1970s, Volvo and Renault (as " Saviem ") belonged to the so-called " four-man club ", which jointly developed trucks.

    In 1981, White truck production with the subsidiary Autocar but without Western Star Trucks was taken over by Volvo and transformed into Volvo White Truck Corp. renamed. Group brands were Volvo, White and Autocar. In 1988, there was another merger when Volvo Trucks entered into a joint venture with General Motors (GM). GM brought in GMC's heavy truck division . The company became the Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corporation with the brands WHITEGMC and Autocar. In 1995 WHITEGMC became Volvo . In 1997, Volvo took over GM's stake in the company and again changed the name to Volvo Trucks North America . In 2001 the trademark rights to Autocar and some truck models were sold to Grand Vehicle Works Holdings LLC (GVW). Since then, all of the Group's trucks in North America have been sold as Volvo.

    Mack Trucks is one of the largest manufacturers of heavy trucks and truck components in North America. The company has been wholly owned by Renault since 1991 . In 2000, Volvo AB acquired Renault Véhicules Industriels (RVI) (now Renault Trucks) including Mack Trucks in North America.

    UD Nissan Diesel was almost entirely taken over by Volvo in 2007. Nissan Diesel manufactures trucks and buses in Japan.


    Front engine chassis Volvo B57 with intercity bus body from Wiima
    Volvo "Setcar" as a feeder bus of Tunisair on the airport of Monastir (Tunisia)
    Volvo / Hess B10L of the Lucerne transport company

    In 1928 the first bus based on a truck chassis was manufactured. In the 1940s, the company increasingly developed its own chassis specifically for buses, initially with a front engine integrated into the car body . The first diesel engine from Volvo (VDA) was created in 1945, it replaced the "Hesselman" engine, which was a redesigned petrol engine with low compression for operation with tax-privileged heavy fuel oil and ignition with high-performance spark plugs. In 1950/1951, the first Volvo bus chassis with a rear engine (B645 for Stockholm) and with a mid-engine (B655 for Odense ) were created in response to different customer requests . The mid-engine design was long preferred by Volvo due to the balanced weight distribution: Chassis types B655 (1951–1964), B755 (1963–1965), B58 (1966–1980), B10M (from 1979) and C10M (first complete luxury touring coach from Volvo, 1984). The first rear-engined chassis that were mass-produced by Volvo were the B59 (1971–1979). This was followed by B10R (1978–1992) and B10B (from 1992). But bus chassis with a front engine continue to be produced, most recently mainly for export (Norway, South America, Asia): B625 (1949–1951), B725 (1952–1962), B705 (1958–64), B715 (1962– 1965), B750 (1962-1965), B54 (1966-1971), B57 (1966-1983), B609 (1976-1988), B6F (1978-1988) and B7F.

    After the Volvo Bus Division was established as an independent department in the company in 1968 , it became an independent subsidiary of the Volvo Group in 1983 as the Volvo Bus Corporation (VBC) . As early as the 1970s, the Volvo importer from Great Britain Jim McKelvie was running the Ailsa Truck Company in Scotland, of which Volvo took over the majority of the shares. From 1974 to 1985, front-engine chassis were produced here as the basis for the double-decker buses preferred here as the Ailsa B55.

    The chassis for coaches and buses were still made using components such as engines from the larger truck "sister", the bodies were made by (independent) body builders (e.g. the Finnish company Wiima , which operates through the Carrus group Joined Volvo in 1998). In 1981, the Swedish body manufacturer Höglund in Säffle was taken over, so that Volvo could now also offer complete buses. In March 1988, Volvo took over the bus division of the British manufacturer Leyland . In 1990 Volvo took over 75% of the Austrian Steyr Bus GmbH , which mainly produced city and intercity buses for the Austrian market. The takeover of the German coach body manufacturer Drögmöller was ultimately not so successful. In 1994 Volvo acquired the Danish bus body manufacturer Aabenraa from Kässbohrer, which used to belong to Leyland . In 1995, Volvo took over the Canadian touring coach manufacturer Prévost in conjunction with the British Henly Group, in which Volvo itself held a ten percent stake. In 1998 the takeover of the North American bus manufacturer Nova Bus and that of Mexicana de Autobuses Anonima (MASA) in Mexico followed.

    Today, Volvo Buses is the world's second largest manufacturer of bus chassis and complete buses with plants and a. in Sweden ( Borås ), Poland ( Wrocław ), Brazil ( Curitiba ), Mexico (“MASA”), Canada ( Québec , “Prevost”) and China (“Xian Silver Bus”).

    Current bus series from Volvo are:

    The chassis types B6BLE (rear engine, low entry ), B7RLE, B7L (for low-floor buses , also as an articulated bus), B7TL (for double-deck buses ), B10L, B12B (rear engine) and B12M (mid-engine) are also available.

    Meanings of the names of the bus chassis

    Volvo conversion trolleybus in Szeged
    Older Volvo trolleybuses in Wellington (Leyland DAB)

    The chassis types for buses begin with a B, followed by a series designation and finally an abbreviation with the following meanings:

    A: Articulated = articulated bus
    B: "Bak" = longitudinally mounted rear engine
    BLE: Longitudinally mounted rear engine, low entry
    F: front engine
    L: Laterally / longitudinally mounted rear engine
    M: Longitudinally mounted horizontal mid-engine
    R: Rear engine mounted lengthways
    RLE: Longitudinally mounted rear engine, low entry
    S: Side-mounted mid-engine, also available as a low entry
    T: double-decker chassis ("Tvär" = transversely mounted rear engine)


    A total of 20 articulated trolleybuses of the type V 7000 AT have been running on the Linz trolleybus since 2000/2001, this type can only be found there. It is based on the bus model B7LA, the electrical equipment was supplied by Kiepe . There is a solo trolleybus in Szeged , Hungary , which was converted from a conventional diesel bus in the workshop of the local transport company in 2004. Since then, the loner has had the type designation B7 TR12 / TV.PR., Its electrical system comes from Cegelec . In contrast, the last Volvo trolleybuses of the former Wellington trolleybus in New Zealand were retired in 2009.

    Boat engines and drives

    The Volvo Penta company was founded in 1930 through the acquisition of the majority of shares in the Penta works. It offers engines and complete propulsion systems for shipping and industry. Penta-Werke initially supplied the engines for the first Volvo automobiles, as Volvo began its vehicle production as a pure body and chassis manufacturer without producing engines itself. These first automobiles in the company's history were built and sold by Volvo, but the word Penta was on the radiators . Due to the global economic problems at the end of the 1920s, the Penta company got into financial difficulties. Since Volvo did not want to lose its engine supplier, Volvo joined Penta and deleted the word "Penta" from the radiator grille of its automobiles. In 1935, the Volvo Penta company  - also based in Gothenburg  - was officially founded. The best-known developments by Volvo Penta were the "Aquamatic", a revolutionary combination of inboard and outboard, the Duoprop drive system and the IPS towing propeller solutions for fast leisure boats introduced in 2005. In addition, Penta was the first manufacturer of outboard motors in Europe in 1922 . However, Volvo Penta gave up the production of outboard motors in the course of the Second World War for the time being.

    In the 2001/2002 Volvo Ocean Race , every sailing yacht taking part in the race had two Volvo Penta propulsion engines on board - for emergencies.

    Engines from the Volvo Penta range can be found in Renault commercial vehicles as well as in Volvo trucks.

    Heavy Volvo A25D dump truck
    Volvo tractor

    Other group companies

    Articulated wheel loader VOLVO L60H

    Volvo Aero develops and manufactures high-tech components for civil aviation and jet engines . The company also develops, manufactures and maintains jet engines for the Swedish Air Force. Formerly called Volvo Aero Volvo Flygmotor and was created in 1941 through the takeover of the majority of shares in Svenska Flygmotor AB . Among other things, Volvo Aero manufactured the jet engine for the Saab JA37B Viggen interceptor and developed rocket engines and nozzles. Volvo Aero was acquired by GKN , a UK automotive and aerospace supplier , in mid-2012 for £ 633 million (€ 788 million).

    Jofa produces ice hockey equipmentand was part of the Volvo group from 1973 to 1985.

    Volvo Construction Equipment develops, produces and sells construction machinery (including excavators , wheel loaders , wheeled excavators, dumpers , motor graders and backhoe loaders) and in spring 2007 took over the road construction machinery division ABG Allgemeine Baumaschinen-Gesellschaft from Ingersoll Rand .

    Volvo Financial Services offers comprehensive customer finance, insurance, property management and other financial services.

    Volvo Car Corporation

    The original core business of the group was sold to Ford in 1999. At the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the troubled US parent company Ford had offered the subsidiary Volvo Cars for sale, the reason given was red numbers for Volvo car production. In late 2009, Ford announced that it would sell Volvo Car Corporation to Chinese automobile and motorcycle manufacturer Geely . The contract was signed at the end of March 2010. The purchase price was $ 1.8 billion.


    • Hans-Christian Herrmann: The history of Volvo in Germany. 1958 until today . Verlag Walter Wolf, 2nd edition, Riedstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-934820-15-9
    • Christer Olsson, Hans Christiansen: Volvo passenger cars 1927-2000. A parade . Translated from the Swedish by Harald Neuhaus. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-613-02028-9
    • Jean Christer Olsson: Volvo buses since 1928 . Translated from the Swedish by Harald Neuhaus. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-613-02306-7
    • Dough Jack: The Volvo Bus . On the History of Volvo Buses in the UK and Ireland, in English, ISBN 1-898432-52-X

    Web links

    Commons : Volvo  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. a b c d Annual Report 2019. Accessed June 9, 2020 .
    2. Chinese car maker Geely joins truck manufacturer Volvo Die Presse, December 27, 2017
    3. ^ Sales of truck axle production 1998; Retrieved April 4, 2013
    4. Renault has sold its stake in the B series shares of Volvo AB ( Memento from April 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
    5. Volvo modifies trademarks. Design Diary, October 25, 2012, accessed February 13, 2014 .
    6. History
    7. Volvo buses Germany | Volvo bus . ( [accessed August 26, 2017]).
    8. Sale of Volvo Aero to GKN , Focus online, accessed October 22, 2012
    9. Ford separates from subsidiary - Chinese buy Volvo , from December 23, 2009, accessed on January 7, 2010
    10. Expansion: Chinese pay $ 1.8 billion for Volvo . ( Memento of March 31, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Financial Times Deutschland , accessed on March 28, 2010