The largest of the Detroit "Big Three," General Motors (GM) was founded by William C. Durant on September 16th, 1908. Prior to the formation of GM, Durant had bought out Buick Motor Company in 1904 and 4 years later attempted to merge it with Ford Motor Company, and a few other companies that have long since faded into the pages of history before forming GM.

General Motors was formed by Durant for the purpose of created one large corporation that could cover the car market from top to bottom. Below are the car companies bought out by Durant and the coniciding years:

  • Buick Motor Company (1904)
  • Oldsmobile Motor Company (1908)
  • Oakland Motor Company/Pontiac (1909)
  • Cadillac Automobile Company (1909)
  • Ford Motor Company (1909; No, it obviously wasn't bought out...it almost was, but bankers rejected the deal)
  • Rapid Motor Vehicle Company/GMC (1909)
  • Chevrolet (1915; Holding company, there were a few companies made by Durant when he lost control of GM for a time, they were all swallowed up by GM once he regained power, and I'm not going to detail them here since Durant was trying to make another GM which was called, Durant Motors)
  • Saturn (1989; Created by GM as competition to Japanese imports)
  • Saab (199x; Saab was going bankrupt)
  • Isuzu (1999; GM owns 49% of the company)
  • Subaru (200x; GM owns 33% of the company)


Sources

Hendry, Maurice. Cadillac - Standard of the World - The Complete 75 Year History. Princton: Princton Publishing Inc. 1973.

http://www.automuseum.com/

The General is, depending on the time of day, the largest corporation in the world or number two, generally tied with General Electric.

In addition to the well known brands of American cars listed by Jizz, GM's international operations are responsible for Opel, Holden, Vauxhall, Hummer, and Saab, and own significant shares of Subaru, Fiat, Isuzu, and Suzuki.

In addition, GM Electro-motive is one of America's principal manufacturers of diesel-electric locomotives. They also produce engines for a variety of marine OEMs, such as Mercruiser, under their Vortec brand name. GM manufactures engines for a variety of other commercial brands, as well, and even for some consumer vehicles such as the new Honda pickup.

Their advanced R&D spinoff, Delphi, holds patents for a variety of technologies such as electronic four wheel steering and automotive night vision which are or will be used in many other vehicles. Also in GM's stable are XM satellite radio and DirecTV, product of the Hughes Electronics Corporation.

GM's bank, GMAC, is a complete full service bank with mortgage, investment, insurance, and consumer lending and credit card services. GMAC will also gladly serve as your realtor.

All this adds up to one of the greatest empires in history.

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