The Volvo Group (Swedish: Volvokoncernen; legally Aktiebolaget Volvo, shortened to AB Volvo) is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg. While its core activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses and construction
equipment, Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems and financial services. Although the two firms are still often conflated, Volvo Cars, also based in Gothenburg, has been a totally separate company since it was sold off in 1999. The companies still share the
Volvo logo and co-operate in running the Volvo Museum.
Volvo was established in 1915 as a subsidiary of SKF, the ball bearing manufacturer; however the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars consider themselves to have been officially founded on 14 April 1927, when the first car, the Volvo ÖV 4 series, affectionately known as "Jakob",
rolled out of the factory in Hisingen, Gothenburg.
Volvo means "I roll" in Latin, conjugated from "volvere", in reference to ball bearings. The brand name Volvo was originally registered as a trademark in May 1911 with the intention to be used for a new series of SKF ball bearings. This idea was only used for a short period
and SKF decided to simply use "SKF" as the trademark for all its bearing products.
In 1924, Assar Gabrielsson, an SKF sales manager, and engineer Gustav Larson, the two founders, decided to start construction of a Swedish car. Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of the country's rough roads and cold temperatures.
AB Volvo began activities on 10 August 1926. After one year of preparations involving the production of ten prototypes the firm was ready to commence the car-manufacturing business within the SKF group. AB Volvo was introduced at the Stockholm stock exchange in
1935 and SKF then decided to sell its shares in the company. Volvo was delisted from NASDAQ in June 2007, but remains listed on the Stockholm exchange.