Volvo Personvagnar AB or Volvo "Car Corporation" is a Swedish automotive manufacturer. Volvo
(Latin for "I roll") builds premium cars and engines and produces about 450,000 cars annually, selling
globally to around 100 nations. Principal markets for Volvo include the United States, Sweden, China
Founded in 1927 in Gothenburg, and from the beginning a foundation of safety in automobiles was
the company's goal and remains so today. The company's first car, the Volvo OV 4, was produced that
same year and the radiator design for that car, the now-trademark stripe through a grille, is still in use
today, though it has been somwhat modified over time. The first Volvo on the American market was
the PV444 in 1955, sold in California and then Texas and then the rest of North America the next year.
Although they are separate companies under separate ownership now, the Volvo Group (which builds
commercial vehicles) and the Volvo Car Corp (which makes cars) use the same logos and trademark.
Through its history, Volvo has been marked as an innovator and first-adopter of safety technologies.
Volvo is credited with making laminated safety glass a standard in the 1940s, inventing the three-point
safety harness still in use today (standard in all Volvo cars as of 1959 and giving the licensing away
for free to other automakers). Volvo also developed the first rear-facing child safety seat (1964) and
a booster seat in 1978. Volvo also introduced Side Impact Protection, which channeled side impact
force away from the doors in 1991 – something that is now standard on all automobiles. In 1995,
Volvo introduced side airbags, making them standard in their cars in 1996. Volvo is also credited with
developing air bag technologies, Blind Spot Warning systems, side marker and daytime running lights,
and many other safety innovations that are standards today.
Although the company often does not make crash safety tests lists from American and European safety
boards, they have a strong reputation for crash survival and occupant safety. The company explains
that this is because they focus on safety itself, not passing safety tests. In recent years, Volvo has begun
scoring well on those safety tests despite not building towards them.