Volvo Before the Turn of the Century

by : Glady Reign

Volvo was founded in the 1920's by Assar Gabrielson and Gustav Larson, and 80 years later, the Volvo is now a global company employing thousands of people in different parts of the world.

What started as a subsidiary of ball bearing manufacturer SKF is now the leading manufacturer of safety oriented vehicle in the world. Volvo Cars, previously a part of AB Volvo, is now owned by the Ford Motor Company.

But before the Michigan based automaker got their hands on the car manufacturing segment of Volvo, the company has faced numerous challenges and has come out as one of the more popular high end vehicle producers in the industry. During the 1990's, before the turn of the century, Volvo made a great leap by modernizing their lineup to cope with the changing times and the changing needs of the consumers.

In the autumn of 1990, Volvo released the Volvo 960 a midsize luxury car. The said vehicle was released for the 1991 model year. The 960 is the successor of the Volvo 760. A major changes made in the 960 as compared to the 760 is the direct overhead cam, 24-valve inline six-cylinder engine which is complemented by high performance .

Throughout the 90's, the Volvo 960 received upgrades for the 1992, 1993, and 1994 model years. The revision of the 960 shows Volvo's dedication to cope with the changing demands by consumers of the auto industry. Some of the changes made in the 960 are the curvy seats, and the redesigned seatbelts equipped with hydraulic pretensioners which shows Volvo's dedication to producing safe cars. Dual front airbags were made as standard in some market for the 1994 model year in the Volvo 960.

In 1998, before Volvo Cars was sold to the Ford Motor Company, Volvo launched the S80. The midsize luxury executive car S80 is the successor of the Volvo 960. The first S80 rolled out of Volvo's assembly plant on May 6, 1998. All S80 units are produced in Volvo's plant in Torslanda in Gothenburg, Sweden.

During the early existence of the S80, Volvo did not offer a wagon version for it. Only more recently did Volvo markets a wagon version of the S80, the third generation V70.

After Ford acquired Volvo Cars, the brand has managed to get a hold on auto markets all over the world. The European brand currently has 2,500 dealerships scattered over 100 markets in the globe. The company's biggest sales come from Europe with 60 percent of their sales coming from the continent. Thirty percent of their sales come from North America, particularly the United States, and the remaining ten percent is divided by different countries all over the world, most notably in the Asian continent.