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I have recently encountered a car advert from the manufacturer Volvo Cars with the tagline "made by Sweden" instead of more usual "made in Sweden", so I'm wondering what it's supposed to mean. I have some possible interpretations:

  1. (most probable) they want to indicate not only manufacture location, but emphasize that the car is a product of every Swede and embodies some deeply Swedish values
  2. the car is manufactured by the state (not true, as the automaker is owned by Chinese company)
  3. the car is not actually made in Sweden, so they could not use "made in Sweden" phrase (like "designed in California, made in China") - quite unlikely, at least according to Wikipedia the car in question is manufactured in Sweden
  • You should always include as much context as possible. Was this ad by Volvo? At first I guessed it was a mistake, but seeing as it was from Volvo, it seems deliberate--unless this is some peculiar BrE usage. – Em. Aug 17 '17 at 6:07
  • As this question is about phrase used in commercial campaign, I was unsure if it was appropriate to include actual adverts here. Yes, it's about Volvo (I think it was rather easy to guess;)) – el.pescado Aug 17 '17 at 6:14
  • I suspect it's an error. After all, the Electrolux vacuum cleaner company's headquarters are in Sweden, and back in the day they came up with the slogan "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux." This earned them a Nova award, an award given in memory of the GM campaign in Mexico for the Chevy Nova. As your name suggests you already know, no va in Spanish means "doesn't go." – BobRodes Aug 17 '17 at 6:23
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My two cents:

It is a half slogan you are writing. The original one is:

Volvo - Made by People
Made by Sweden.

They say that the best cars are not built by Americans, Koreans, Swedes or Italians. They are made by all of them, together.

Vovlo says that since 50s, the company has been importing brilliant brains from all over the world to Sweden. The company believes that diversity sparks creativity pushing innovation further.

Volvo is made by people from all over the world. But, they gather in Sweden, so it's made by Sweden.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUDx6NEqdJQ


Another possibility:

By using 'by,' we make the country active. Calling Volvo cars are made in Sweden shows that Sweden is merely a place where the cars are made. If we replace it with 'by,' it shows 'efforts', and it has an emotional touch.

Volvo cars: made in Sweden - Sweden is some place where cars are made
Volvo cars: made by Sweden - Sweden makes its best efforts to make the cars.

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