Construction Equipment GLOBAL
Volvo CE history and heritage

Our history

This is our heritage

Our history

The Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) story began over 180 years ago in Eskilstuna, Sweden. In 1832 Johan Theofron Munktell, then only 27, laid the company's foundations when he was commissioned, by the city, to found an engineering workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to develop the local mechanical industry.

When Johan Theofron Munktell quit the Royal Mint in Stockholm to move to Eskilstuna, he was replaced by another young and very gifted engineer, Jean Bolinder. Just like Munktell a few years before, Jean Bolinder, together with his younger brother Carl Gherard, travelled to England to learn more about engineering technology. Once they returned, richer in knowledge, the brothers decided to found their own company.

Exactly 100 years after Johan Theofron’s start in Eskilstuna, Bolinder moves to Eskilstuna and both companies merged under the name AB Bolinder-Munktell, which will later be purchased by Volvo in 1950.

Over the following years – through mergers, acquisitions, development and drive – Volvo CE has become a leading international manufacturer of premium construction equipment.

180 YEARS IN 5 MINUTES

“The Master Builder” tells the gripping story of more than 180 years of construction innovation. Discover how Volvo CE grew to become one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world.

Volvo Construction Equipment history

THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMPANY

1832 ‒ 1893

THE EARLY YEARS

1832
Johan Theofron Munktell starts his workshop in Eskilstuna.

1839
The first premises were very modest, so Munktell builds a new manufacturing plant that is completed in 1839.

1844
Jean and Carl Gerhard Bolinder found Kungsholmens Gjuteri & Maskin Verkstad in Stockholm, Sweden.

1853
Munktells manufactures Sweden’s first locomotive.

1880
Bolinders participates in manufacturing the world’s first submarine in history to fire a torpedo while submerged under water.

1893
Bolinders builds Sweden’s first combustion engine (Weyland’s patent).

Volvo Construction Equipment history

THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMPANY

1906 ‒ 1998

A CENTURY OF SUCCESS

1906
Even before the age of the tractor, Munktells start to build construction machinery and the first piece to be built is a steam-powered road roller.

1913
Munktells produces Sweden’s first tractor.

1932
Bolinder’s and Munktell’s companies merge to form Bolinder-Munktell.

1940
During World War II, the company converts production to manufacture – amongst other products – aircraft engines.

1950
Volvo buys Bolinder-Munktell.

1954
The company's successful wheel loader history was initiated with one of the world's first wheel loader with attachment bracket, the H-10.

1960
The line of wheel loaders is expanded with the acquisition of Arvika- Thermaenius AB Arvikaverken.

1966
Volvo BM launches the world’s first series manufactured articulated hauler.

1972
Volvo introduces the ROPS-certified cabs. The unique structure protects the operator if the machine overturns.

1982
Rigid haulers are added to complement the hauler line, following the acquisition of AB Kockum Landsverk.

1985

  • The VME Group is formed.
  • Volvo partners with Clark Equipment and enters the Americas.
  • Michigan wheel dozers and Euclid rigid haulers are added to the portfolio.

1990
Compact wheel loaders are added to the range thanks to the acquisition of Zettelmeyer Baumaschinen GmbH.

1991
Volvo acquires Åkermans Verkstad AB and adds excavators to its product offering.

1995

  • VME becomes a fully owned Volvo company and changes its name to Volvo CE.
  • Compact excavator line is extended through the acquisition of Pel-Job.

1997
The road range is initiated as a result of the launch of the motor grader line and the acquisition of Champion Road Machinery.

1998

  • The new 30 ton wheel loader Volvo L220D impressed with its productivity and low fuel consumption.
  • Acquisition of the construction equipment division of Samsung Heavy Industries.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMPANY

2001 ‒ Today

BUILDING THE FUTURE

2001
Volvo CE announces the introduction of a new range of backhoe loaders of own design.

2002
Launch of new in-house designed backhoe loader.

2003
Production of Volvo CE's skid steer loader begins in Asheville.

2005
EC700B – an excavator in the 70-ton class – is launched by Volvo.

2006

  • Volvo G900-series graders see the light of day.
  • With an integrated electric-diesel hybrid concept, Volvo shows how to save energy and the environment.

2007

  • Volvo launches the world’s first full-suspension articulated hauler.
  • Acquisition of Chinese Lingong and Ingersoll Rand road construction.
  • Volvo CE and SDLG enter into a joint venture.
  • Volvo launches the L350F, a new 50-ton wheel loader.

2014

2016

  • The Volvo CE's largest articulated hauler to date, the A60H, is introduced.
  • Volvo Co-Pilot system is unveiled. 
  • Introduction of a range of futuristic concepts at the Xploration Forum in Eskilstuna: the prototype of the LX1 hybrid wheel loader and an electric site solution to showcase the new HX1, an autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier.

2017

  • Volvo CE’s headquarters move from Brussels (Belgium) to Gothenburg (Sweden).
  • Volvo CE unveils the next generation electric load carrier concept, the HX2, and the EX2, a fully electric compact excavator prototype.

2018

  • Launch of the first Volvo-branded range of rigid haulers.
  • Introduction of the LX2 electric compact wheel loader concept.
  • Volvo CE and Skanska record ground-breaking results from the Electric Site research project, the world’s first ‘emission free’ quarry.

2019

Interested in Volvo CE history? Plan a visit to one of our museums

MUNKTELL MUSEUM – ESKILSTUNA

In this beautiful old brick building you get to experience more than 180 years of Swedish industrial history. A “don’t miss” when visiting Eskilstuna.

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VOLVO MUSEUM – GOTHENBURG

This is the perfect place to get a comprehensive view of the development of Volvo; from the first ÖV4 to the current cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles.

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ARVIKAVERKEN MUSEUM – ARVIKA

The museum of Arvikaverken is located in one of West Sweden's oldest industrial buildings. Here, many periods in the history of the company are on show.

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Volvo Construction Equipment
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