I know we’ve had Swedish viewers logging on over the past few days.  I decided to find a bit of Volvo history in the cards, maybe some Ace of Base, I dunno.  Looking for a diamond in the Google rough, I unfortunately came up with a lump of coal.  Here’s a quick history, mostly provided by Wiki.

The name Volvo is derived from the Latin Volvere which means ‘to roll’ or ‘to turn’, as in ‘to turn’ off a cliff or ‘to roll’ into a field of cow dung.  The company began its car production division in 1926 and over the next 50 years became known as one of the world’s finest automobile manufactures.  Volvo’s early vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden’s rough roads and cold temperatures. This durability became a feature of Volvo products. In the 70’s and 80’s, as obsessive safety standards came into play in the U.S. (thank you Ralph Nader), Volvo became the premier safety vehicle for families.  Pre-Y2K Yuppies from all over sought the Volvo, second only to Mercedes and BMW.  Well, that would be third I guess, but the Volvo brand was highly respected.

In 1999, Volvo sold its car division Volvo Cars to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion. The Volvo trademark was shared between Volvo AB, on its heavy vehicles, and the unit of Ford, on its cars. Over the next decade Volvo began a decline in quality and performance reviews.

In 2008, Ford decided to sell its interest in Volvo Cars; in 2010, Ford sold the brand to the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile for $1.8 billion. That is a whopping 80% loss in value (inflation adjusted) in just 10 years.   Note to big business……..Jumping on the surfing band wagon won’t save you.

Consumer Reports once gushed over their reviews of Volvo.  Then came this excruciatingly painful promo:  Think Kelly Slater – Think Baywatch

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5 Responses to Downfall

  1. Charlotte says:

    So true. Volvo is not what it used to be. Still Swedish people LOVE Volvo. Faithful as they are. Maybe it has something to do with our history???

    It was 43 years ago since Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right side. However, Volvo has always kept left hand drive for the Swedish people.
    Why? I have heard that roads were narrow & to pass a horse, one had to focus on the left shoulder of the road, therefore Volvo never changed their cars to right- hand drive even though we drive on the right nowadays.

    In most other countries, the steering wheel is located at the right side when the traffic is left-hand, or at the left when traffic is right-hand. But Volvo wanted to give Swedish people what they wanted. Hence the unique relationship.

    As a paradox, though, Swedish railways still run on the left on double tracks, as a reminiscence of old times maybe. No doubt this will also be “harmonized” in due time.

    Let’s buy a volvo love

  2. Disston says:

    Previous post should read XC90 2003 edition, pass the coffee please.

  3. Surfshrink says:

    I am not certain but I believe the XC90 2003 edition was pressed out in one of those overseas sweatshops in Sweden.

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