Our heritage

We started making cars in 1927 because we believed nobody else was making them strong enough or safe enough for Swedish roads. Learn more about our models and major milestones over the years.

Iconic cars

Discover some of our most iconic Volvo models. From the introduction of our first car in 1927 up to our most recent models.

Our company history

A grey Volvo PV 44 on a stage.

1944 – The “little Volvo” comes along

On 1 September 1944, the car that would make Volvo an international car company was unveiled in Stockholm. “The little Volvo”, as it was called, was seen in Sweden as a promise of post-war prosperity and in the course of two weeks 2,300 people placed orders for the PV 444.

Multiple PV 444 are unloaded from a cargo ship.

1955 – Export to the USA begins

In August 1955 the first PV 444 was unloaded at a port in Long Beach, California. Many onlookers were sceptical, but two years later Volvo Cars had become the second-biggest import brand in California and in 1974 the USA became our biggest market at the time.

A Volvo 240 standing on a hill.

1976 – A safety benchmark in the US

Our international reputation for advanced safety was confirmed when the US Government bought 24 cars of the model Volvo 240 for extensive crash testing. As a result of the tests, Volvo was officially chosen at the time as the benchmark to set safety standards for all new cars.

A grey Volvo XC90 driving on a country road.

2002 – Our first SUV

When the Volvo XC90 was launched it became an instant success all over the world. It redefined the segment for big SUVs and became Sweden’s most important export product within a few years.

A black Volvo XC90 seen driving from behind.

2015 – The second-generation XC90

The second-generation XC90 marked the beginning of a new chapter in our history. It featured a completely new design language, new technologies and the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform.

A red Volvo S60 rolling of the production line.

2018 – Our first US manufacturing plant

We inaugurated our first US manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina, establishing Volvo Cars as a truly global car manufacturer with plants in Europe, Asia and North America.

A safety belt in grey with the text "Since 1959" engraved on the buckle.

Decades of safety innovations

Ever since our founding in 1927, we’ve been designing cars that put people first. Discover our most important safety innovations over the years.

Planet earth seen from space.

A heritage of sustainability

We have worked for many years to reduce our environmental impact. Discover some of the actions we have taken to date.