Volvo looks back on 80 years

Volvo's first truck had 28 horsepower and could carry 1.5 tonnes. Today's largest Volvo truck has a 660-hp engine and can haul 200 tonnes. Between them stands 80 years of work by generations of Volvo employees.

Assar Gabrielsson was 33 years old when he became sales manager of Svenska Kullagerfabriken (SKF). But he had his heart set on building cars. By sheer chance he met a former colleague in 1924, an engineer named Gustaf Larson. He shared the same dream. Volvo's first truck — the Series 1 — was introduced in February 1928.

After almost 30 years, Volvo's founders handed over the company's reins in 1956 to Gunnar Engellau.

In 1970 Volvo's truck operations were separated into an independent unit within Volvo with the formation of the Volvo Truck Division. In the mid-70s, Volvo first established a presence in Brazil and soon became one of the biggest brands on this market. This was followed by North America, and in 1981 Volvo acquired US truck-maker White.

Over the next few years, a new modular concept for the largest trucks was introduced, resulting in the Volvo FH/FM Series. A decision was also made to build the first truck in the United States featuring Volvo technology. In 1996 came the launch of the Volvo VN in the United States.

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