It was way back in 1868 that John G. Gronvall, an engineer first established his workshop and foundry in the area of Skovde, Sweden. At first the company he founded just supplied regular items and in 1875 it became known as the Skofde Gjuterioch Mekaniska Verkstad and was a limited partnership. They made everyday things like stoves, pans and pots, brewery equipment, tools and the like. They even branched out into farm equipment and tools and equipment for other industries.
During the early part of the 1900s, their success ramped them up into manufacturing heavier equipment. Water turbines, steam engines, and the like. Power plants needed these products and the company became quite the word of the day for reliability and professionalism.
The name Penta actually came about after an exhaustive five man committee search for a name for the company’s first one cylinder three horsepower compression ignition engine. Originally called the B1, the five men couldn’t settle on a catchy name. Then someone had the bright idea that since there were five of them making this decision they should use the term penta which means five in their language.
That was in 1907 when the company cut a great deal with the company Fritz Egnell from Stockholm. It was Egnell who in 1916 renamed the company to AB Pentaverken after he bout it. The new company focused on maritime industry needs. Their breakthrough came after World War I when they introduced a small 2 cylinder U2 outboard engine that was created by Carl-Axel Skarlund. This engine continued in production until the early 1960s it was so successful. The U2 and U21 was so popular, that its name entered into the lexicons of languages around the world for the subject of outboard engines.
Then, way back in 1925, it as Assar Gabrielsson of Volvo who came to Penta to get a new engine for his company’s Volvo automobile. Penta came up with a 4 cylinder 28 horsepower side valve Typ DA engine for the historic Volvo OV 4. Then in 1935 the partnership paid off when Penta became a subsidiary to Volvo and the rest is history.
From then on Volvo Penta has been a leader in the marine engine industry. From contra rotating propellers to sterndrive, and an number of other innovations, the world itself has benefited from the engineering and design genius that has come out of Volvo Penta.
Now that the 21st Century has arrived, there’s no telling what new innovations that Volvo Penta is going to come up with. For almost 100 years now, the company has established itself as a premier of the marine engine industry.
Entire businesses on a global scale depend on the company’s products. Families, companies, governments, have come to rely on Volvo Penta not for just maritime engines and cars but for many other vehicles and products. It’s a testament to fine leadership, keen design and engineering, and masterful craftsmanship that has brought Volvo Penta to the top of the pyramid.
Image credit: www.volvopenta.com