Volvo – derived from the Latin for ‘I roll’ – has been a byword for safety and solidity for much of its life. The first car to leave the factory in Gothenburg in Sweden in 1927, and all proved tough in more hospitable climates than the sub-Arctic environment it was designed for.
Since the 1950s, Volvo also placed great store in passenger protection. Its robust, no-nonsense approach was exemplified by the 140 and 240-series, which kept the same basic style from 1967 to 1993, but still sold in huge volumes across the globe. Volvos started to become sexier from the 1990s onwards and moved upmarket under Ford ownership from 1998. The company was bought by Chinese car manufacturer Geely in 2010.