Sep 15, 2008

General Motors Corp's 100 years Journey

In its 100 years in business, General Motors Corp has sold nearly a half-billion vehicles across the globe. It emerges as top sellers, as GM approaches its 100th birthday on September 16, 2008.

While Henry Ford gets credit for standardizing assembly-line production of automobiles, GM founder William (Billy) Durant largely gets credit for how America sells them: by giving consumers an array of brands, models and colors from which to choose.

In a little more than a year after starting GM on Sept. 16, 1908, he added Oldsmobile, Cadillac, AC Spark Plug, the Oakland Motor Car Co. (which later became the Pontiac brand) and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. (now known as GMC).

Alfred Sloan took over as president and CEO in 1923, and remained at GM until 1956. He has since been credited with leading the corporation through some of its most dominant days. Some call Sloan the grandfather of the U.S. corporate bureaucracy.

In the 1950s, GM had a string of breakthroughs, including the automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and fuel-injected engines as it rolled out exciting cars such as the Corvette and Bel Air.

By the 1970s, a 67-day national UAW strike, an oil embargo and stricter emission rules took their toll on the U.S. auto industry. The energy crisis pushed many Americans to smaller, more fuel-efficient foreign cars, prompting GM to institute massive layoffs. GM's decline continued through the succeeding decades with extensive plant closings, huge job losses and deteriorating financial performance in North America.

Heading into its second century, GM is still losing market share at home, its stock price is perilously low and management can't reliably promise profits.

And yet it is widely seen as the strongest of Detroit's automakers.

It has award-winning crossover vehicles and sedans to complement its pickups, SUVs and Corvette. Chevrolet is the nation's best-selling brand. And GM is selling more vehicles overseas than at home as it stretches the Chevy bow tie across China, India, Europe and elsewhere.

Did You Know :

In 1903, it was a time of market instability. William Durant, a director of the Buick Motor Company, was the man behind the merger. Durant believed that the only way for the automobile companies to operate at a profit was to avoid the duplication that occurred when many firms manufactured the same product. General Motors Corporation was thus formed, bringing together Oldsmobile and Buick in 1903, and joined by Cadillac and Oakland (renamed Pontiac) in 1909.


  1. Interesting article. A lot of information that I never knew.

  2. Wow, very nice :) thnks, btw, could you tell us wth is that prototype? looks kinda futuristic, and creepy, @ the same time lol

  3. I don't know the protottype exactly but you can view the details here :

  4. That is the coolest car I've ever seen. Are they actually selling those?

    Great blog here. I really like the pictures you put up. You pick really cool ones.

    Jonathan Muller

  5. haha, that doesn't look much like a car to me. But pretty cool tho!