Archive for History

How Did They Get To Where They Are Today: GM Time Line

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 2, 2008 by mjung18

Below you will find a time line illustrating the history of General Motors.  Of coarse not EVERY GM milestone will be listed, but many of the major happenings, developments and advances given to the world by the American auto giant are represented.

THE BEGINNING:

1897:

  • Randsom Olds and Olds Motor Vehicle Company produce first Oldsmobile.

1899:

  • The Opel-Patent-Motorwagen-System Lutzmann becomes the first motor car built by Adam Opel in Germany.

1901:

  • The Curved Dash Oldsmobile becomes the first American car produced in large numbers.

1902:

1903:

1904:

  • William “Billy” Durant takes control of Buick Motor Company.

1905:

  • Cadillac produces a car which is credited as the first step to closed-car designs; the Osceola.

1906:

  • Buick makes the 1907 Model D which becomes the first four-cylinder production car.

1907:

  • Edward Murphy founds the Oakland Motor Car Company which is today known as Pontiac.

1908:

  • William “Billy” Durant founded General Motors on September 16th.
  • Durant incorporated Buick Motor Company.
  • Oldsmobile joins the newly formed GM family on November 12th.

1909:

  • GM purchases half interest in the Oakland Motor Car Company on January 20th.
  • GM acquires Cadillac on July 29th.
  • GM purchases Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, which is known today as GMC.

1910:

  • Cadillac is the first to offer a closed body style of car as standard. (Seen Below)
    1910cadillac

1911:

  • William Durant founds Chevrolet.
  • GM Export Company is founded to help with sales outside of North America.

1918:

  • GM purchases operating assets of Chevrolet in May.

1919:1910 Cadillac

  • Construction of GM Building begins in Detroit Michigan. (Seen below)general_motors_building

1923:

  • Buick introduces 4-wheel breaks.
  • Copenhagen Denmark becomes the home of the first GM plant in Europe.
  • Ethyl gasoline is introduced by GM Research Company.

1925:

  • GM purchases U.K. auto maker Vauxhall.

1926:

  • The first Pontiac is introduced; the 6-cylinder “The Chief of the Sixes”.

1929:

  • GM acquires majority controlling interest in German auto maker Adam Opel AG.

1930:

  • Cadillac introduces the first 16-cylinder engine.

1934:

  • GM’s 2-cylinder engine is used in trains.

1935:

  • The Opel Olympia becomes the world’s first car with an all steel body and frame.

1937:

  • Pontiac is the first to offer a gear shift on the steering column

1938:

  • GM sales outside of the US and Canada break the 350,000 mark.

1940:

  • GM celebrates the production of its 25-millionth U.S.-made car.

1942:

  • GM converts 100% of its productions to the allied war effort.

1948:

  • Cadillac and Oldsmobile introduce the first V-8 engine.

1949:

  • The first hard-top automobile is introduced by Cadillac; The Coupe de Ville. (Seen Below)

1949-cadillac-dville

1950:

  • The Powerglide Transmission is introduced my Chevrolet.
  • Chevrolet becomes the first auto maker to offer an affordable car with a fully automatic transmission.

1952:

  • Buick, Cadillac and Oldsmobile become the first to offer power steering.

1953:

  • Buick, Cadillac and Oldsmobile become the first to offer power breaks.
  • The first production sports car is introduced my Chevrolet; the Corvette. (Seen Below)
    1953-corvette

1954:

  • GM offers the first 4-door “pillarless” hardtop automobiles.

1957:

  • The Pontiac Bonneville is introduced.
  • Pontiac offers the fuel-injected engine in the Bonneville.

1958:

  • GM celebrates its 50th anniversary.

1959:

  • Chevrolet introduces the El Camino and the Corvair.

1962:

  • GM produces its 75-millionth US-made car.

1963:

  • Chevrolet introduces the 1964 Malibu.

1966:

  • The Pontiac Firebird and the Chevrolet Camaro are introduced.

1967:

  • April 21st marks the 100-millionth automobile made by GM in the US.

1968:

  • The 50 story GM building in New York opens.

1969:

  • GM makes the navigation system for the Apollo 11 moon landing.

1970:

  • GM introduces no lead or low lead engines for all 1971 models.

1973:

  • The first GMC motor home is introduced.

1983:

  • Chevrolet makes the first major styling change to the Corvette since its introduction.

1986:

  • GM acquires the high-performance auto maker Lotus.

1989:

  • GM purchases 50% of Swedish auto maker Saab.

1990:

  • GM introduces the Impact, a new totally electric car.
  • The first line of Saturn cars rolls off the line on July 30th.

1992:

  • GM celebrates the production of the one-millionth Corvette.

1993:

  • GM sells Lotus to European auto maker Bugatti.

1994:

  • GM becomes first company to put day-time running lights on all 1995 models.

1996:

  • GM announces that a new security feature called OnStar will be an option on 1997 front wheel drive Cadillacs. (Seen Below) onstar1

1999:

  • GM joins with XM radio to offer satellite radio in their cars.
  • Adam Opel celebrates 100 years of production.

2000:

  • GM announces plan to eliminate the entire Oldsmobile line of vehicles as well as the company.

2001:

  • Cadillac introduces the CTS which is marked as the first major design change away from traditional Cadillac designs.

2002:

  • GM acquires majority of Korean auto maker Daewoo.
  • Buick Celebrates 100 year anniversary.

2003:

  • GM announces that they will offer hybrid engines in several models of cars, trucks and SUVs.

2004:

  • The last Oldsmobile rolls off the line.
  • GM delivers the first fill-size hybrid truck.
  • OnStar reaches 3 Million customers.

2005:

  • GM announces the introduction of a smaller Hummer SUV, the H3, after the overwhelming success of the larger H2.
  • Pontiac announces a limited pre-order program for the Solstice Roadster and received 1000 orders in the first 41 minutes. (Seen Below)
    2007_pontiac_solstice_gxp

2006:

  • The Saturn Aura is named 2007 North American Car of the Year.
  • Saturn begins offering the wildly popular VUE with a hybrid engine making it the lowest price hybrid SUV on the market.

2007:

  • GM faces largest drop in sales since the Great Depression.

2008:

  • GM, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler announce possibility of multi-billion dollar federal bailout due to poor US and world economy.
  • The Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Silverado are named 2 of the top 10 selling cars in the US.

This brings us to the current day.  As you can see, General Motors has had a long, productive and impressive life, with more to come in the future.

Photo Credit:
Photos applied from Google Images.
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Information Citation:

General Motors Corporation, (2008). Message posted to

http://www.gm.com/corporate/about/history/