The first Volvo car left the factory in Gothenburg, Sweden on 14 April, 1927.
Volvo is Latin for "I roll", and the company was founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larsson as a spin-off from ball-bearing manufacturer SKF. The logo is a Swedish symbol for iron attached to a diagonal piece if metal on the front grille.
Initially Volvo produced closed top and cabriolet versions of its four-cylinder OV4 and PV4 Jakob models, which sold well as they were constructed to better withstand the harsh Swedish climate than US imports.
In 1929 a six-cylinder PV651 model was introduced. Its success helped the company raise funds to buy its engine supplier and its first factory.
The PV 51, a cheaper model, was introduced in 1936, similar to the more expensive PV36 in design, but smaller in size and less well equipped.
Towards the end of the Second World War the PV444 was introduced. It was an instant success, and joined by successes including the 120/Amazon gained Volvo a market in the USA.
In 1959 the Amazon and PV544 were equipped with three-point safety belts – a world first.
Volvo’s first sports car was the P1800, unveiled in 1960, and found fame in The Saint TV series with Roger Moore behind the wheel.
Cementing Volvo's position in the family market, in 1964 it launched the Volvo 140, firstly as a saloon and later as an estate.