(Det talade ordet gäller)
The year is 1961. A young couple from former Yugoslavia, Yubiza and Ivan, have just been picked up by a bus from Sweden – most probably a Volvo bus…
They had been staying at a refugee centre in Austria, and a group of Swedish companies had come there to recruit new employees, showing films about Sweden and about Swedish companies.
Sweden seems like a good place to build a future. So Yubiza and Ivan decided to go there and apply for jobs. Within a week of arrival, they are working full time at the Volvo plant in Köping.
There is not enough housing in Köping, so the first few weeks they stay at a hotel. Shortly after, Volvo builds temporary homes for their workers.
With stable jobs, Yubiza and Ivan quickly established themselves in Sweden. Eventually, they were able to buy a house of their own. And they could start to raise a family.
Their son, Patrick, was born in 1972. And he isn’t just their son – he is also one of my dearest friends. And I am grateful that Volvo gave that young couple - and many others - a chance almost 60 years ago.
Minister, ladies and gentlemen: A successful company is a company that creates value – for customers, shareholders, employees – and for society.
For decades, Volvo has been a world leading company in their industry – and very important for our country. You have definitely put Sweden on the map.
Some years ago we travelled to South America. There, I learned that in Peru, the word for truck is Volvo. I have to admit, this is not the first time I’ve told that story – but it made me feel very proud, and that is what we are, we are proud of Volvo.
And we all want Volvo to maintain its leading position. Therefore, I am happy to be here today for the inauguration of the first Volvo Camp X facility; an important step in staying at the forefront.
Dear employees and partners of Volvo: you are building so much more than your products. You are building growth and prosperity for Sweden – and a more sustainable future, for us and for coming generations.
Some of you might wonder what happened to Yubiza and Ivan? Well, I am happy to say they still live in Köping. They have children and grandchildren. And they stayed proud Volvo employees for the rest of their working lives.
Now, I look very much forward to following the outcome of Volvo Camp X. I wish you all the best of luck!