Cars and crustaceans (or what Volvo has to do with crayfish)

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Volvo XC60
Volvo XC60, voted World Car of the Year 2018, gets a special spot at the “crayfish party.”

APPARENTLY, the idea for creating Volvo was hatched over a seafood meal.

According to Volvo Cars, company founders Gustaf Larson and Assar Gabrielsson had a chance meeting at seafood place Sturehof in Stockholm. Larson was drawn to the restaurant because it served crayfish, and once inside saw his friend Gabrielsson. Over a meal of crayfish, the two men’s conversation turned towards cars, with Larson supposedly wondering: “Couldn’t Sweden produce its own cars?” This meeting took place in August (some accounts put it in July) of 1924.

Actually, the Volvo name, derived from the Latin word “volvere,” or “I roll,” was registered as a trademark as early as May 1911. The name was not intended for a car though, but for a new line of ball bearings for the SKF brand.

It was not used on any SKF product though, and somehow Gabrielsson, a sales manager at SKF, managed to convince SKF to use the Volvo name for the car company he and Larson, an engineer, would start in 1924. The two men’s idea was to build cars specifically designed for Sweden’s rough roads and cold temperature, and by August 1926, Volvo started developing cars within the SKF group.

A year later the first Volvo car, called the OV 4, rolled off the production line in Gothenburg — Volvo considers this as the year it officially started as car company.

Volvo continues to toast the meal over which its founders began developing the idea of starting an auto company through a Crayfish Party. In the Philippines, the most recent was the one held on Sept. 8 together with the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines at a Pasay City hotel. Displayed during the event were the Volvo S90 and XC60.