Volvo: Let's Roll

The Volvo company was founded in 1927 in Sweden. Interestingly enough, rather than use the Swedish "jag rullar," the company chose the Latin for "I roll" which is "volvo" as its trademarked name with the intention to manufacture a series of ball-bearings for the US market (something which never came to pass). Largely due to the war, it wasn't until that the Volvo PV444 passenger car first entered production in 1947. It was the smallest Volvo ever made and represented the majority off Volvo production, as well as serving as the beachhead for their move into the profitable American market. The first Volvos arrived in the United States in 1955, after hardware wholesaler Leo Hirsh began distributing cars in California. Later, Texas was added, and in 1956, Volvo themselves began importing cars to the US. North America has consistently provided Volvo with their main outlet since.

Volvo Crosses the Atlantic

In 1963, Volvo opened its Halifax Assembly plant which was the first assembly plant in the company's history to be located outside of Sweden. Within a year of opening in Canada, Volvo opened its Torslanda plant in Sweden, which currently is one of its largest large car and SUV production sites. Despite these expansions, Volvo's long-time CEO Pehr G. Gyllenhammar realized early on that Volvo was too small to survive in the future, and attempted several times to merge with other manufacturers. In fact, Volvo nearly merged with Saab in the late seventies, which would have seen the Norwegian state take over 40 percent of the company. In return, Volvo would have received 200 million SEK and a ten percent concession in the Oseberg oil field. Major institutional actors in Sweden opposed the deal and blocked it. A deal to merge with Renault was blocked in 1993, mainly opposed by a Swedish stockholders' association. As a result of these failed mergers, Volvo was peaked in 1986 with 113,267 cars sold in the US. Shortly afterwards, however, Japanese brands like Acura and Lexus resulted in even more weakening of the brand and its loss of a significant market share for Volvo, one which they have never regained.

The Ford Era

Volvo was part of Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group (PAG), along with Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover. While part of the PAG, the company grew in its range of vehicles significantly.
After Ford sold Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Motors of India in 2008, the company initially decided to keep Volvo Cars despite mounting losses and gross economic downturns. Ford decided to restructure plans for Volvo Cars, pushing it further upmarket alongside the lower end of Mercedes and BMW sedans, wagons, and SUV crossovers. The outcome was the luxurious second generation Volvo S80 and the new small premium crossover Volvo XC60.

When the global economic crisis of 2008 threatened the US automakers, Ford announced in December 2008 that it was considering selling Volvo Cars. Initially, a sale price of US$6 billion was reported, Ford reported it was also looking into the possibility of spinning off Volvo as an independent company. The Swedish government was asked to look into a possible state ownership of Volvo, or a financial bailout for Volvo Cars and SAAB of GM. Although it was rumored that Volkswagen would buy Volvo Cars, and despite initial denials, Chinese company Geely Holding Group was ultimately selected to take over the Swedish automaker. Geely Group Holdings Co. allegedly bid about US$1.5 billion to take over Volvo, with Goldman Sachs investing $334 million USD in the holding company.

Volvo Aftermarket Accessories and Tint

For the time being, it looks like Volvo has found its place and has hit its stride, producing a great variety of quality vehicles for the US market. If you're the owner of new XC90, an S80 or an older model now's the time to upgrade with DIY auto accessories, window tints or taillight and headlight covers. At Rvinyl, we've made it our business to help you restyle, upgrade and update your Volvo at the lowest prices possible without sacrificing style. Whether you want to add a body kit or racing stripe to the exterior, an  Rdash® or AutoMaxusâ„¢ dash kit to the interior or want to protect your headlights with projection film, we've got what you need.