The Swedish car industry is one of the most important industries in Sweden.
It has a long history, with many famous Swedish car brands such as Saab, Volvo, Scania, Lada, Iveco, Renault, Fiat, Ford, Opel, Citroën, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, Kia, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Škoda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, and Volvo Cars.
The Swedish car industry is still strong today, and it is also growing rapidly due to its low prices, good quality cars, and high safety standards.
In 2010, there were 2,500 new vehicles registered every day, making Sweden the third-largest producer of automobiles after Germany and Japan.
The automotive industry is an important part of the Swedish economy. The industry also contributes about 10% of the GDP and employs over 1 million people.
There are three major companies producing cars in Sweden: Volvo (Volvo Cars), Saab (Saab Automobile), and Scania (Scania AB).
In addition, other small manufacturers include Boliden, Cedergrens, Ericsson, Hägglunds, Land Rover, LKAB, Motala Kompaniet, Norske Autogrill, Ola Petterssons, Pekao, SAAB, Svenskt Tenn-, Triton, Vattenfall, and ZF Trasys.
Although there have been some attempts at building motorized wheeled transport since the late 19th century, it was not until the early 20th century that the Swedish car industry began to take shape.
During this time, the first mass-produced cars were built by two companies; Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (SEAB or Electric Company) and Svenska Motorgruppen (SMG or Motor Group).
Swedish Car Brands
1. Svenska Elektra Aktiebolaget
It was founded in 1902 by Olof Lindblad, who later became the company’s chairman. It is one of the oldest Swedish car brands.
After World War II, the company changed its name to AB Electrolux, which was later acquired by Danfoss and merged with Tandberg to form Tandberg Media Systems. Today, Tandberg is still owned by Danfoss.
SMG was founded in 1899 by Carl Fahlström and Karl Nordström. They started manufacturing their own electric motors for bicycles and tricycles.
Later on, they expanded into other areas like steam engines, internal combustion engines, trucks, and buses. In 1917, SMG went public and was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
In 1928, SMG bought SEAB; they formed the AB SKF group. SKF introduced the world’s first ball bearing in 1929 and, in 1934, the first automatic transmission.
In 1991, SKF sold all shares to American conglomerate Unilever. In addition, SKF spun off its automotive business into a separate company named AB SKFin 2000.
Established in 1894, Cedergrens is a manufacturer of agricultural machinery based in Gothenburg. Their products include tractors, harvesters, balers, sprayers, and threshers.
Ericsson is a multinational telecommunications equipment provider headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1876 as a telegraphy equipment maker, it is one of the oldest Swedish car brands.
The company now also provides radio communications, information technology, software development, and consulting services.
Hägglund’s history dates back to 1896 when Lars Magnus Hägglund established his workshop in Örebro. He manufactured farm implements and construction machines before producing cars in 1907.
His son, Hans Hägglund, continued the work but died in 1941. In 1942, Hägglund took over the company and continued to develop new models.
After World War II ended, Hägglund’s was taken over by Volvo, and the factory was closed down.
LKAB was founded in 1925 by Axel Lingwall and was originally known as “Axel Lingwall & Co.”. The company made motorcycles during the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1936, LKAB started making trucks and then automobiles. From 1939 through 1945, LKAB produced military vehicles for the German army.
After the war, LKAB started producing passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
In 1950, LKAB was bought out by Saab, who also purchased several smaller companies, including SAAB-Scania.
In 1986, Saab was split up into three different companies; Scania, Saab Automobile, and SAAB.
In 1996, SAAB was reorganized into two companies; SAAB and Saab Automobile. In 1998, Saab Automobile was absorbed into Scania.
In 2006, Scania was split into four companies; Scania, MAN, Iveco, and Renault Trucks.
Mack was founded in 1921 by Per Mackenroth. Originally called “Per Mackenroth och Co,” Mack was one of the oldest Swedish car brands.
It began the production of small cars in 1922. In 1935, Mackenroth left the company, and it was renamed “Mack.”
Mack built planes during World War II until 1944, when the government nationalized the company. Mack privatized again in 1947, and in 1951, it was taken over by Volvo.
In 1965, Volvo sold half of the company to Ford Motor Company. In 1990, Volvo was split into two companies; Volvo Group and Volvo Car Corporation.
In 1999, Volvo Car Corporation was merged with its parent company, Ford Motor Company.
Volvo Group was split into two companies, Volvo and Polestar, and Polestar manufactured high-performance sports cars and SUVs in 2001.
In addition, Volvo is currently among the active Swedish car brands.
Nordic is a Danish automobile manufacturer that has been active since 1899. It was originally located in Copenhagen, where it produced bicycles and, later, motorbikes.
In 1902, they started building carriages and trams and built their first automobiles in 1903. By 1905, they had started manufacturing buses and trucks.
In 1910, the company switched from making trams and buses to making cars. They were also awarded the contract to build tanks for the Swedish Army in 1916.
In 1919, they stopped building trams and buses and focused on building cars exclusively.
They have remained an independent automaker ever since. In 1934, the company became part of the Skoda group, and in 1992, Skoda was split into two separate companies: Skoda Auto and Škoda Auto.
In 1904, Carl Gustaf Ångström started working at the Svensk Fabriks Aktiebolag (SFA) which is now known as AB Svenska Kullagerfabriken (SKF).
They introduced a car named “Överdäck” (English: Overboard), which was a boat-like vehicle in 1911.
In 1912, SKF decided to start building cars, and they began using a new technology developed by Ångströms brother, Nils Ångströme.
This technology allowed them to make large castings instead of using forgings. Their first model was a 4-seater cabriolet.
In 1914, they launched their first series of cars, and he would design many of the future models. SKF started building airplanes in 1917.
In 2000, SKF decided to stop manufacturing automobiles and focus on its core market, construction machines, and parts for the automotive industry.
As of 2013, SKF is still the largest construction equipment manufacturer worldwide.
Koenigsegg, one of the best Swedish car brands, is best recognized for its relative obscurity because it creates ultra-exclusive and ultra-expensive hypercars.
While the Agera and other iconic models are no longer available, the company’s newer models maintain their unearthly performance and panache.
Despite its high price tag, the Koenigsegg Regera is one of the world’s fastest and most powerful hybrids. The Jesko is a new vehicle that is expected to cost around $3 million when it is put on the market.
With a maximum power output of 476 horsepower, a maximum driving range of 270 miles, and an elevated ride height comparable to a crossover, the Polestar 2 is the brand’s answer to Tesla’s Model 3.