June 6, 2005
Volvo brand name turns 90 years old
Mississauga, Ontario – Volvo reports a birthday this month: its name first appeared on a ball bearing 90 years ago. It was officially registered on June 22, 1915 and stamped onto a new automotive bearing manufactured by Svenska Kullagerfabriken, or SKF, in Göteborg, Sweden.
Already a manufacturer of industrial bearings, in 1914 the company realized the potential of the automotive business. The word “Volvo” was derived from Latin for “I roll”.
In addition to bearings, the name also appeared on gas burners, camping trailers and office chairs made by the company. The name was discontinued in 1920 and the bearings named SKF, but in August 1926, when the company decided to support an automobile manufacturing company, it dusted off the name. It also used the ancient chemical symbol for iron, a circle with an arrow pointing through it, as its logo, with a diagonal band running across the radiator to hold the badge in place. The first Volvo vehicle appeared in April 1927.