MOTORING: Volvo Celebrates 90th with All-new XC60 SUV
Recent Western Cape Business News
FOUNDED in April 1927, Volvo Cars is celebrating its 90th birthday with start of production of the all-new XC60 in Gothenburg, Sweden. It will leave the factory 90 years to the month after the first-ever model, the ÖV4, saw the light of day on April 14th 1927.
This first Volvo sold a total of 275 vehicles in its life time, which was modest even in those days.
Volvo's original XC60 became a phenomenon, with sales figures which have increased every year since it was first introduced in 2008. Seven years after it was revealed, it became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe. Today it represents around 30 per cent of Volvo's total global sales since the company was founded (966 000 units in total) and, in April 2017, the number will surpass the 1 000 000 mark.
"The past 90 years have been exciting, but the 10 years left until our 100th anniversary may come to be more exciting as industry focus shifts to autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity," says Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars.
90 years of Volvo Cars
The Swedish manufacturer's founder, Assar Gabrielsson, saw an opportunity in Sweden after having observed the growing auto industries in the US and Europe from his position within sales at the Swedish ball bearing maker SKF, a supplier to the car industry.
Pointing towards Sweden's readily accessible steel, cheap labour and skilled engineers, he managed to convince SKF to invest in a spin-off car business called AB Volvo.
The first mass-produced Swedish car was quite a conventional vehicle with elements of American car design, a wooden frame made of beech and ash wood, a 1.9-litre side valve engine and artillery wheels with wooden spokes. Only one colour combination was available: dark blue with black fenders.
âVolvo: World's Safest Cars
Despite how Volvo cars have evolved over the last 90 years, one thing has remained the same: the company's commitment to making the world's safest cars.
The all-new XC60 is one of the safest cars ever made and offers the latest in safety technology, including the new Oncoming Lane Mitigation system which uses the new Steer Assist function to help mitigate head-on collisions. Volvo's semi-autonomous driver assistance system, Pilot Assist, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the all-new XC60 as an option.
With the all-new XC60 now gradually becoming available for order in markets across the globe, Volvo is set for another record year of sales in 2017. The new medium SUV's South African introduction is set for the second quarter of 2018.
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