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On 14 April 1927, the first mass-produced Volvo car rolled off the production line at the Lundby factory in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Now, 85 years later, the Volvo Car Corporation sells almost 500,000 cars each year, while the Volvo Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles.

At 10am on 14 April 1927, sales manager Hilmer Johansson drove the first mass-produced ÖV4 model through the factory gates – 85 years on, the same model passed through the same gates to celebrate this historic milestone.

Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation, and Olof Persson, President and CEO of the Volvo Group, were behind the wheel.

“It’s a fantastic car, but it’s easy to see how much has changed over the last 85 years,” says Stefan Jacoby, who recently premiered the all-new V40 at the Geneva Motorshow.

The Volvo Group and Volvo Car Corporation are two companies with a long shared history. However, what was once one company began as an unpromising project because Volvo’s founders, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, had no direct experience of cars or the automotive industry.

During its first year of production Volvo sold a modest 300 cars but the following year business began to take off, and even back then Volvo realised that the key to success lay in exports.

Today, with 21,500 employees worldwide, around 87 percent of all Volvo Car Corporation’s sales take place outside Sweden. Last year, the Volvo Car Corporation sold around 450,000 cars in 120 countries, with the USA as its single largest market.