Sweden still owes the payment for 1,000 Volvos from North Korea; Read in detail

Decades back in the 1970s, Swedish businesses were looking forward to expanding into a promising new market and found potential in North Korea. At that time, North Korea had emerged as one of the most economically strong countries. Notably, Sweden, which had Volvo 144s, the sturdy and boxy sedans in production, signed a huge contract with North Korea for delivering 1,000 Volvo cars. The order for the 1,000 Volvos of their 144 model was given by Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung in 1974 and it was eventually shipped that very year. However, there’s a catch to it. The word soon came out and it was revealed that Sweden never got paid for the order. It has been 49 years since then, but it seems North Korea is still in no mood to clear the long-standing payment.

Recalling the same, a video of similar Volvo cars has been shared by a Twitter handle named History Vids. Calling it the ‘largest car theft’ in history, the caption of the post stated, “In the 1970s, North Korea ordered 1,000 Volvo cars from Sweden. The cars were shipped & delivered but North Korea just didn’t bother paying and ignored the invoice. Till this day the bill remains unpaid making it the largest car theft in history.”


In response to the video, many social media handles took to the comment section and posted divided reactions. A user wrote, “The inception of pre-payments”, while another user wrote, “That’s a lot of racked-up interest.” Some also pointed out why such a huge order was delivered without receiving any payment.

Sweden’s wait for payment of 1,000 Volvos continues

With nearly 50 years since the order was placed, the overdue amount for the 1,000 Volvos has crossed a certain limit and it seems the chance of receiving the payment is close to zero. While the Swedish authorities continue to send bills to North Korea twice every year, the dues have been rising with interest and other taxes and reached approximately 300 million Euros at the present date.

While the Swedish government has already paid the car-making company in full from public funds, it still owes money from North Korea for the exported goods.

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