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GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908 as a holding company after a 15 year contract with the McLaughlin's of Canada. Initially, GM held only the Buick Motor Company, but it rapidly acquired more than twenty companies including Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Oakland, now known as Pontiac. Durant signed a 15-year contract in Canada with the exchange of 500,000 shares of Buick stock for 500,000 shares of McLaughlin Stock. Dr. Campbell, Durant's son-in-law, put 1,000,000 shares on the stock market in Chicago Buick (then controlled by Durant).

Durant's company, the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, had been in business in Flint since 1886, and by 1900, was producing over 100,000 carriages a year in factories located in Michigan and Canada. Prior to his acquisition of Buick, Durant had several Ford dealerships. With springs, axles and other key components being provided to the early automotive industry by Durant-Dort, it can be reasoned that GM actually began with the founding of Durant-Dort.

Durant acquired Oldsmobile later in 1908. The next year, he brought in Cadillac, Cartercar, Elmore, Ewing, and Oakland (later known as Pontiac). In 1909, General Motors also acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessors of GMC Truck. A Rapid became the first truck to conquer Pikes Peak in 1909. In 1910, Welch and Rainier were added to the ever-growing list of companies controlled by GM. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 to a bankers trust as the deal to buy Ford for $8,000,000.00 fell through, due to the large amount of debt (around $1 million) taken on in its acquisitions R S McLaughlin Director and friend left at the same time.

Durant left the firm and co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911 with Louis Chevrolet. R S McLaughlin in 1915 built Chevrolet in Canada and after a stock buy back campaign with the McLaughlin and DuPont corporations, and other Chevrolet stock holders, he returned to head GM in 1916,as Chevrolet owned 54.5% with the backing of Pierre S. du Pont. On October 13 of the same year, GM Company incorporated as General Motors Corporation after McLaughlin merged his companies and sold his Chevrolet stock to allow the incorporation, which in turn followed the incorporation of General Motors of Canada (reverting to General Motors Company upon emergence from bankruptcy in 2009 that left General Motors of Canada Limited as a privately owned Canadian Company). Chevrolet entered the General Motors fold in 1918 as it became part of the Corporation with R S McLaughlin as Director and Vice-President of the Corporation ; its first GM car was 1918's Chevrolet 490. Du Pont removed Durant from management in 1920, and various Du Pont interests held large or controlling share holdings until about 1950.

In 1918 GM acquired the Chevrolet stock from McLaughlin Motor Car Company of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, manufacturer of the McLaughlin automobile since 1907 (later to be renamed McLaughlin-Buick) as well as Canadian versions of Chevrolet cars since 1915. The company was renamed General Motors of Canada Ltd., with R.S. "Colonel Sam" McLaughlin as its first president and his brother George as vice-president.[6] Superior Court of Ontario Canada documents show the Corporation as indirect parent of General Motors of Canada Limited. General Motors of Canada is a 100% owned Canadian Company.

GM's headquarters were located in Flint until the mid-1920s when it was moved to Detroit. Its building, originally to be called the Durant Building, was designed and began construction in 1919 when Durant was president, was completed in 1923. Alfred P. Sloan became president that year, and the building was officially dedicated as the General Motors Building in 1929. GM maintained this headquarters location, now called Cadillac Place, until it purchased the Renaissance Center in 1996. The Buick Division headquarters remained in Flint until 1998 when it was relocated to the Renaissance Center.

Source: Wikipedia

 

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