Olds Motor Vehicle Company, Inc., the oldest unit of
General Motors Corporation, is organized by Ransom E.
Olds with a capital of $50,000 (5,000 shares of stock at
$10 per share) and the first Oldsmobile is produced.
Olds Motor Vehicle and Olds Gasoline Engine Works of
Lansing merge to form Olds Motor Works. This new company
is incorporated on May 8, 1899 with $500,000 capital. The
first factory specifically for automobile manufacture in
the United States is built by Olds in Detroit on
Jefferson Avenue East.
In Germany, Adam Opels first motorcar, the
"Opel-Patent-Motorwagen System Lutzmann," is
The curved-dash Oldsmobile becomes the first American car
to be manufactured in quantity.
Cadillac Automobile Company is organized in Detroit by
Henry M. Leland, a precision manufacturer of automotive
Buick Motor Company, founded by David Dunbar Buick,
is incorporated on May 19,1903. Ground is broken for the
first Buick engine plant on September 11, 1903, with
funding from Flint Wagon Works, and operations are moved
from Detroit to Flint.
William Crapo ("Billy") Durant of
Durant-Dort Carriage Company, Flint, Michigan, takes
control of Buick Motor Company on November 1, 1904.
Cadillac produces the Osceola, a single cylinder
favorite of Henry Leland and the first step-in closed-car
design. The body was built under the supervision of Fred
J. Fisher (who later founded Fisher Body with his
brothers) in the Wilson Body Company plant in Detroit.
Buick builds its first production four-cylinder car,
a 1907 Model D.
Henry M. Leland establishes the Cadillac School of
Applied Mechanics, the first school to train machinists,
technicians and toolmakers.
The Oakland Motor Car Co., predecessor to Pontiac Motor,
is founded by Edward M. Murphy on August 28, 1907 in
General Motors Company is organized in 1908 (Sept
16), incorporating the Buick Motor Company.
Oldsmobile becomes the second company to join General
Motors when Olds Motor Works is sold to GM on Nov. 12,
Fisher Body Company is incorporated on July 22, 1908, by
Albert, Fred and Charles Fisher and located in Detroit.
Cadillac wins the Dewar trophy of the Royal Automobile
Club in London for demonstrating interchangeability of
parts, a basic element in mass production.
General Motors purchases a half interest in Oakland
Motor Car Co. on January 20, 1909. When its founder,
Edward Murphy, passes away the following summer, his
company comes under the full control of General Motors.
In 1932, the Oakland name is dropped from the vehicle
line and Pontiac becomes the name of the division.
General Motors purchases Cadillac for $5.5 million on
July 29, 1909. Henry M. Leland and his son, Wilfred, are
invited to continue operating Cadillac. They do so until
1917, when they leave to form Lincoln Motor Co.
AC Spark Plug joins GM. Known as Champion Ignition
Company in 1909, the name is changed to AC Spark Plug
Company in 1922 and made a division in 1933.
General Motors acquires the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company
of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessor of GMC Truck, and
Reliance Motor Truck Co. of Owosso, Michigan. A Rapid
becomes the first truck to conquer Pikes Peak in 1909.
Bankers turn down William Durants request for a
loan to buy Ford Motor Co. for about $9.5 million.
Cadillac is the first American manufacturer to offer
closed bodies as standard equipment, revolutionizing
motoring convenience by providing cleanliness and
all-weather comfort. In exchange for the loans required
to avoid financial collapse, bankers step in and William
Durant is removed from management of General Motors.
GM President James J. Storrow creates a centralized
testing and research laboratory and technical department
to serve all constituent companies on February 7, 1911.
At first known as the Engineering Department, in November
it becomes the General Motors Research Department.
Charles F. Ketterings milestone invention, the
electric self starter, is first installed in a Cadillac
on February 27, 1911. Kettering had organized his
company, the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company, in
1909 for the purpose of working on developments in the
General Motors Truck Company (later known as GMC) is organized on July 22, 1911, to
handle sales of GMs Rapid and Reliance products.
Chevrolet Motor Company of Michigan is incorporated
in November of 1911 by Louis Chevrolet, William Little
and Edwin Cambell, William Durants son-in-law.
Headquarters are in Detroit.
General Motors Export Company is established to handle
the sale of all General Motors products outside the U.S.
Cadillac adopts the electric self-starter as standard
equipment. Cadillacs self-starter wins the Dewar
Trophy as the most important automotive contribution of
All GM truck operations are consolidated in Pontiac,
Cadillac is first manufacturer in the U.S. to produce
a V-type, water-cooled, eight-cylinder engine. The
314-cubic-inch engine produces 70 horsepower at 2,400 RPM
and is the first major step in development of high-speed,
high-compression automotive engines.
Cadillac becomes the first in the auto industry to use
thermostatic control of a cooling system.
Cadillacs V-8 engine is installed in all its models
and the V-8 emblem is added to Cadillac designs.
On September 13, 1915, Durant incorporates Chevrolet
Motor Co. of Delaware. The new corporation includes the
original Chevrolet Motor Company and becomes a holding
company for auto companies Durant had put together after
losing control of GM.
At the November 16, 1915 stockholders meeting of General
Motors Company, Pierre S. Du Pont is elected chairman.
William Durant, having held on to all his stock and
acquiring more in the interim since his departure from GM
(and receiving a $50 dividend on each share), is back in
a position of power.
Tilt-beam headlights operated by a handle on the dash are
introduced on Cadillac for improved nighttime visibility.
In May 1916, Durant creates United Motors Corp., a
combination of five parts and accessories manufacturers
that include Hyatt Roller Bearing, led by Alfred P.
Sloan, and Dayton Engineering Laboratories, led by
Charles F. Kettering. Sloan is named president of United
Durant announces that Chevrolet owns 54.5 percent of
GMs outstanding shares and takes over the GM
presidency from Charles W. Nash, who had been GM
president from 1912 to 1916.
General Motors Corporation is incorporated under Delaware
law (Oct. 13) and acquires all stock of General Motors
Durant purchases an interest in the Samson Sieve-Grip
Tractor Co. of Stockton, California. The following year
he recommends that GM enter the farm equipment business
and directors approve purchase of Durants interest
as well as acquisition of the rest of the company. In
1922, Samson Tractor, by now a division of General
Motors, is liquidated because it is unprofitable.
General Motors buys the operating assets of Chevrolet
Motor Company in May, and Chevrolet became a division of
United Motors Corporation (UMC) becomes part of General
Motors Corporation. UMC is dissolved in 1919 and
individual businesses continue as part of General Motors.
United Motors Service, Inc., created by Sloan in 1916 to
handle sales for the UMC manufacturing divisions, is
included in this acquisition and becomes a division of
General Motors in 1944. In 1971 United Motors Service
Division is renamed United Delco Division and in 1974 it
is absorbed into AC-Delco Division.
General Motors of Canada, Ltd. is formed through merger
of McLaughlin Motor Car Company, Ltd. and Chevrolet Motor
Company of Canada, Ltd.
Durant invests personally in Guardian Frigerator, a
company trying to manufacture a new product, an electric
General Motors acquires 60% interest in Fisher Body
General Motors Acceptance Corporation is established to
finance the sale of General Motors cars and trucks.
Construction of the General Motors Building in Detroit
The predecessor of General Motors Institute of Technology
opens at Flint as part-time training school.
The Guardian Frigerator Company changes its name to
Frigidaire Corporation. General Motors Corporation
purchases all of the outstanding stock on May 31, 1919.
General Motors purchases Dayton Wright Company, an early
airplane manufacturer. In 1929, its assets are sold to
Fokker Aircraft Corporation.
All General Motors employees in the US are made eligible
to participate in the GM Savings and Investment Plan
(predecessor to the Savings-Stock Purchase Program,
established in 1955). Employees contributions of up to
$300 per year are matched by a GM contribution of $.50
for every dollar that employees invest in the plan. The
plan is discontinued in 1935.
General Motors Research Corporation, predecessor of GM
Research Laboratories, is established.
GM Exports first Far Eastern branch office opens in
Manila (moved to Shanghai in 1922).
Durant resigns as President of General Motors and Pierre
S. du Pont, then Chairman of the Board, is named
The Clark Street Cadillac factory begins production.
At the time, it is the most modern plant in the industry.
It remains in production until 1987.
Pierre du Pont issues GMs first "Message to
GM decides to proceed with commercial application of
Ketterings "copper-cooled" engine,
intended to replace the traditional piston engine. The
initial target is to put the copper-cooled engine in all
of Chevrolet Divisions cars. The program is
officially ended in 1923, with a total of fewer than 800
copper-cooled engines ever being produced and only 300
sold to dealers, all of which are recalled by GM.
Alfred P. Sloan is elected President and Chairman of the
Executive Committee May 10, 1923, following a meeting of
the Board of Directors.
Four-wheel brakes are introduced on 1924-model year
Ethyl gasoline, developed in General Motors Research
Laboratories, goes on sale. The following year, Ethyl
Gasoline Corporation is formed by General Motors and
Standard Oil Company of New Jersey to market this
"knockless" motor fuel component developed by
General Motors Research Laboratories.
Inland Manufacturing Company of Dayton, Ohio, is
established to produce steering wheels for GM cars.
GMs first European assembly plant is established in
Copenhagen under the name General Motors International
A/S. It is to build Chevrolets for sale in Scandinavian
countries, the Baltics, and Germany, Poland,
Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and Russia. The first GM
vehicle assembled outside the U.S. and Canada, a
Chevrolet utility truck, comes off the Copenhagen
assembly line on January 7, 1924.
GM acquires all outstanding stocks of Brown-Lipe-Chapin
Company of Syracuse, NY, a manufacturer of automobile
differentials and gears.
Executives become stockholders under a plan allowing them
to acquire stock through the Managers Securities Company.
This is the most far reaching effort yet made by a large
corporation to align interests of management and
stockholders through having leaders become large
Alfred Sloan articulates GMs product strategy of
"A car for every purse and purpose" in his
Message to Shareholders in the 1924 Annual Report.
General Motors Proving Ground is opened in Milford, Mich.
William S. Knudsen becomes president of Chevrolet and
joins the GM Board of Directors.
GM Continental is established with operations in Antwerp,
Donaldson Brown develops his financial concept of
"the highest return consistent with attainable
volume in the market" and publishes his landmark
article, "Pricing Policy in Relation to Financial
Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company is
organized, with General Motors Truck as a subsidiary and
General Motors Corporation holding a large interest. Vauxhall
Luton, England, is acquired by General Motors.
General Motors do Brasil is established in Sao Paulo.
GM opens a manufacturing facility Buenos Aires,
Argentina. In 1978 the vehicle manufacturing operations
are discontinued and GM Argentina S.A. is liquidated. In
1993, GM de Argentina S.A. is established as a joint
venture with CIADEA with production in Cordoba. GM
acquires full ownership in builds a new plant in Rosaria
which commences production in 1997.
G.M. Peninsular is established in Malaga, Sapin, as
General Motors Export Divisions first warehouse.
General Motors (France) is organized with a sales office
in Paris and warehouse in Le Havre.
General Motors G.m.b.H. is set up in Berlin as a sales
office. In 1927 an assembly plant is built in Berlin.
General Exchange Insurance Corporation (predecessor of
Motors Insurance Corporation) is organized by General
Motors to handle insurance business arising through sales
financed by GMAC.
General Motors purchases
the Fisher brothers remaining interest in Fisher
Body Co. William Fisher, president of Fisher Body Corp.,
becomes general manager of GMs new Fisher Body
division. The acquisition includes Ternstedt
Manufacturing Company which is engaged in the manufacture
of automobile body hardware and metal stampings. In 1933,
Ternstedt is made a division of General Motors.
Brown-Lipe-Chapin, a supplier of differential gears for
General Motors cars acquired in 1922, is made a division
of General Motors in 1926 and consolidated with Ternstedt
in 1962. In 1968, Ternstedt Division is consolidated into
Fisher Body Division.
General Motors Institute is formally inaugurated.
GM enters South Africa by forming General Motors South
African (Pty.) Limited (GMSA), a wholly owned subsidiary,
in Port Elizabeth.
The first Pontiac car is introduced by Oakland. The
"Chief of the Sixes," a 6-cylinder car, is
launched at the 1926 New York Auto Show.
General Motors (Australia) Pty. Ltd. is incorporated with
headquarters at Melbourne and five branches in major
cities. Five plants Melbourne, Perth, Sydney,
Brisbane and Adelaide begin operations on November
General Motors New Zealand Ltd. begins assembly
operations at Petone on August 30.
GM Japan Ltd. is established in Kobe, Japan. The
following year, GM opens a new assembly plant about
twenty miles away in Osaka.
G.M. Near East is established in Alexandria, Egypt.
G.M. Uruguaya S.A. is incorporated in Montevideo. In
1986, GM withdraws from Uruguay. In 1993, General Motors
Uruguay, S.A., a wholly- owned subsidiary, is established
to import built-up vehicles from Brazil, Chile, and GM
Cadillac becomes the first in the auto industry to
develop a comprehensive service policy and provide it on
a nationwide basis.
The milestone 1927 model-year Cadillac La Salle is
introduced. This is the first production car designed by
a stylist. It was designed by the legendary Harley Earl.
General Motors Java is established.
GM Japan opens its new assembly plant in Osaka.
Fundamental financial management principles are set forth
by Donaldson Brown in a paper entitled
"Decentralized Operations and Responsibilities with
General Motors Near East holds its first Dealers
Conference in Alexandria, Egypt.
General Motors India establishes the first automobile
assembly plant in India.
Clashless synchromesh transmission is introduced by
Cadillac. This is a major innovation for its day.
Cadillac introduces shatter-resistant safety glass in all
windows of 1929 Cadillac and LaSalle models.
Cadillac becomes the first to adopt chrome plating as
standard on its cars.
Chevrolet introduces its new six-cylinder engine for use
in commercial vehicles. This engine is nicknamed
"the cast iron wonder" for its remarkable
Frigidaire designs and produces the first room air
Opel AG, based in
Russelsheim, Germany, is acquired by GM and takes its
place as a key member of the General Motors family.
GM do Brasil inaugurates its first plant in Sao Caetano
do Sul to assemble vehicles and produce bus bodies and
GM enters the commercial aviation business by buying a
40% interest in Fokker Aircraft Corporation which now has
assets of Dayton-Wright, 24% interest in Bendix Aviation
Corp., and all of the outstanding stock of Allison
Engineering Company. These acquisitions also give GM
access to technical information that is valuable in
automotive operations. The name of Fokker Aircraft Corp.
of America is changed to General Aviation Corporation.
Motors Holding Corporation is established to give
financial assistance to worthy individuals who want to
become GM dealers but lack the capital. In 1936, this
subsidiary becomes Motors Holding Division.
Buick introduces a smaller 6-cylinder sedan which is
named the Marquette. It is discontinued by 1931.
Olds introduces the Viking, an all new V-8 new model for
a more expensive market. Sales drop as the depression
advances and production ceases in 1930.
Electro-Motive Company of Cleveland becomes part of
General Motors - Holdens Ltd. is formed through
merger of Holdens Motor Body Builders Ltd. and GM
(Australia) Pty. Ltd.
Pontiac Motor Division is established, replacing
B-O-P Sales Company is established, consolidating the
wholesale sales forces of Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac.
It is disbanded the following year.
Packard Electric Company, a producer of automotive
starting, lighting and ignition cable, joins GM.
The GM Sales and Service Section is renamed Customer
Research Staff under the direction of Henry G.
No-Draft Ventilation, developed by Fisher Body, is
introduced on all GM cars.
Individual front wheel suspension, called Knee-Action, is
developed by the GM Engineering Staff and introduced in
GM sells some interests and assets of General Aviation to
North American Aviation for shares of North
Americans stock and later buys additional stock in
North American to increase its equity to 51%. North
Americans holdings include Eastern Air Transport
(which later becomes Eastern Airlines), and a substantial
interest in Douglas Aircraft, and Transcontinental and
Western Air, Inc. (which later becomes TWA).
A two-cycle diesel engine developed by GM hauls the first
American diesel-powered streamlined railroad train.
The industrys first barrier impact tests are
conducted when GM cars are directed into a retaining wall
at low speeds.
Fisher Body announces development of the one-piece steel
"turret top" roof for introduction on GM cars
beginning in 1935.
GM introduces the first rollover tests, running one side
of a car up a ramp at the top of a hill.
Electro-Motive Division is established and a plant is
built at La Grange, Illinois, to produce diesel
GM de Mexico is established.
Opel announces the "Olympia" model, the first
mass-produced car with all-steel unitized body
(integrated body and frame construction).
General Motors Suisse SA is established in Bienne
(Berne), Switzerland. Construction of an assembly and
office building begins immediately and is completed in
Pontiacs "Silver Streak" styling theme is
The one-millionth Olds is built on September 30, 1935.
The one-millionth Pontiac is built in November, 1935.
Chevrolet introduces the Suburban Carryall, a 1/2-ton
truck with seating capacity for eight.
The Buick Roadmaster, a milestone in styling (designed by
Harley Earl), is introduced.
Guide Lamp develops the first manual turn signals.
Operated with an on-off switch (with no flasher), Guide
Lamp sells them to United Motors for truck applications.
Fisher Body introduces dual windshield wipers.
Workers at two key GM plants in Flint, Michigan, go on
"sit-down" strike the last week of December.
On February 11, the sit-down strikes end with GMs
recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as having
the right to represent workers who are union members.
A test laboratory is set up in Phoenix, Arizona, so that
heat, dust, and high-altitude tests can be conducted year
Pontiac introduces the industrys first
G.M. Export Company changes its name to the Foreign
Winton Engine Manufacturing Corporation becomes GM
Cleveland Diesel Engine Division.
Detroit Diesel Engine Division is organized for
production of small diesel engines.
Linden Division, Linden, NJ, is established to assemble
Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs closer to the points of
sale in the eastern U.S.
General Motors Overseas Operations (GMOO) is established,
encompassing all vehicle manufacturing and marketing
outside the U.S. and Canada. Headquarters are in New York
City and remain there until 1978 when GMs non-U.S.
and non-Canadian operations are restructured and their
top management moves to Detroit.
Sales outside the U.S. and Canada exceed 350,000
Hydra-matic, the industrys first completely
automatic shift transmission, is introduced by Detroit
Transmission Division (later Hydra-matic Division) on
Oldsmobiles 1940 models.
The industrys first rear turn signals to use
flasher are introduced by Buick.
At the 1939 Worlds Fair, GMs Highways and
Horizons exhibit features the "futurama," a
panoramic tour of a cross-section of the country as it
might appear in 1960, illustrating the possibilities of
future industrial progress.
GM produces its 25,000,000th car (Jan. 11).
The German government officially seizes control of Adam
William S. Knudsen is appointed chairman of the U. S.
governments new Office of Production Management by
President Roosevelt to lead the wartime industrial
mobilization program, a credit to his outstanding
leadership and knowledge of manufacturing, machine tools
GM Japan ceases operation.
GM converts 100% of its production to the war effort.
During World War II, GM delivers more than
$12,300,000,000 worth of war material to lead the Allied
war effort, including airplane engines, airplanes and
parts, trucks, tanks, marine diesels, guns, shells and
miscellaneous products. Among those products manufactured
for the war effort were the GMC CCKW 6 X 6 army truck (a two-and-a-half ton
vehicle that carried both troops and supplies) and the
DUKW (nicknamed "the duck"), designed to carry
up to 50 men on either land or water.
General Motors acquires all assets of Yellow Truck &
Coach, and the GMC Truck & Coach Division is formed.
The Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac Assembly Division is
organized. It later becomes General Motors Assembly
Division (GMAD) in 1965.
In December, the UAW goes on strike over wage issues in
GM del Peru begins assembling trucks and commercial
The UAW strike is resolved on March 13, 1946, with a wage
increase 1/2 cent higher than the companys initial
Central Foundry Division is established.
Oldsmobile celebrates its Golden Anniversary.
The General Motors Train of Tomorrow (Electro-Motive
Division) begins a nationwide tour.
Cadillac and Oldsmobile introduce the industrys
first high-compression V8 engines. The Oldsmobile
"Rocket" V-8 engine goes into production and
the "Rocket Era" begins.
Buick introduces the first torque converter-type
automatic transmission, Dynaflow, offered in U.S.
The first mass-produced car to be manufactured in
Australia, the Holden, is introduced by GM to
specifically meet Australias motoring needs. The
car has more road clearance and is smaller and lighter
than standard American cars.
GM resumes management control of Adam Opel AG on November
General Motors Interamerica Corporation completes
construction of new plant in Caracas. This is the first
automotive plant in Venezuela.
GM and the UAW agree to a new U.S. contract with several
innovations: Eliminatation of annual economic
negotiations with the union and introduction of the idea
of longer-term contracts; introduction of a new wage
formula which provides for cost of living changes (COLA);
and, an annual improvement factor (AIF) based on
increased efficiency resulting from advancing technology.
Cadillacs one-millionth car is produced November
GM opens "Transportation Unlimited," its first
show since 1940, in New York.
Cadillac introduces the Coupe de Ville, which is also
Cadillacs first hardtop.
Opels Ruesselsheim plant is rebuilt.
Chevrolet introduces the Powerglide transmission,
becoming the first competitor in the low-price field to
offer fully automatic shifting.
Allison begins flight tests on its experimental
Turbo-Liner, Americas first turbine-powered
airplane for commercial use.
Buicks Le Sabre and
XP-300, two custom-built super-streamlined concept cars,
are introduced to test GMs new advances in styling
and mechanical features.
Power steering is offered by Cadillac, Oldsmobile and
Following government proceedings to resolve accusations
that GM and GMAC had required GM dealers to use
GMACs financing service, GM enters into a consent
decree which sets ground rules for the relations of
General Motors and GMAC with dealers. Under the decree,
GMAC conducts its business independently and in
competition with other financing organizations.
Charles E. Wilson, President of General Motors, offers
the following response during a U.S. Senate hearing held
to determine his qualifications for Secretary of Defense.
Responding to a question concerning any possible conflict
of interest, he answered: "I cannot conceive of one
because for years I thought that what was good for our
country was good for General Motors, and vice
GMs Parade of Progress, a traveling educational
exhibit initiated by Charles F. Kettering in 1936 and
discontinued during the war years, begins touring again.
12-volt electrical systems, developed by Delco Remy
Division, are installed on Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles and
The Buick high compression V-8 engine is introduced.
Power brakes are offered by Buick and Oldsmobile.
The GM Desert Proving Ground, Mesa, Arizona, is formally
dedicated on April 22.
The Chevrolet Corvette is introduced. It is the first
volume production sports car and the first production car
with a plastic body to be produced in quantity.
GM acquires Euclid Road Machinery Co. with plants in
Euclid, Ohio, and Lanarkshire, Scotland. Euclid
manufactures and distributes off-road earth moving
GMs Motorama, a touring product show, opens in New
Yorks Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
GM Pikes Peak Engineering Test Headquarters is
GM produces its 50 millionth U.S.-made car (Nov. 23).
Cadillac becomes the first auto company to provide power
steering and automatic windshield washers as standard
equipment on all its vehicles.
The Allison Division introduces the first fully automatic
transmission for trucks and buses.
The Turbocruiser, the worlds first gas turbine bus,
is introduced by GM.
The industrys first four-door
"pillarless" hardtop sedans are offered by
Buick and Oldsmobile on 1955 models. The following year,
Cadillac offers the feature on the 1956 Sedan de Ville.
Chevrolet introduces small-block V-8 engine on 1955
General Motors testifies at government hearings on
antitrust before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly. The GM
Savings-Stock Purchase Program (SSPP) is initiated.
The GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, is dedicated
on May 16.
Alfred P. Sloan retires as Chairman on April 2.
The U. S. Senate, Subcommitee of the Committee on
Interstate and Foreign Commerce, holds hearings on
automobile marketing practices as part of an
investigation of problems relating to interstate and
The U. S Supreme Court rules in a landmark case brought
by the Justice Department that the 23% stock interest Du
Pont holds in GM violates the Clayton Antitrust Act. As a
result of the case, the du Pont directors 1957 on
GMs Board of Directors resign in 1959. This case is
finally resolved in 1961 with the du Ponts, GMs
largest shareholders, divesting their stock.
Sen. Estes Kefauver, Chairman, Subcommittee on Antitrust
and Monopoly, holds hearings as part of a study of
inflation relating to price increases in the administered
price industries of steel and automobiles.
The Bonneville model, with Pontiacs first fuel
injection engine, is introduced.
GM marks its 50th anniversary with a year-long Golden
Milestone celebration. The theme was "From the
Progress of the Past the Promise of the
The first demonstration of an automatically guided
automobile takes place at the GM Tech Center, introducing
the possibility of a built-in guidance system for
Cruise control is offered on 1959 Cadillacs.
Chevrolet introduces the El Camino, designed to combine
big car comfort with the utility of a pickup truck, as a
Chevrolet introduces the Corvair.
GM holds its first auto exhibit in Moscow.
Detroit Transmission produces its 10-millionth
A new Defense Systems Division is formed to perform
research directed toward the design and development of
weapons systems and related activities. In 1962, it is
transferred to the Research Laboratories and re-named
General Motors Defense Research Laboratories, with
headquarters at Santa Barbara, California.
GM introduces three new smaller cars in the U.S. as
1961 models: the Buick Special, Oldsmobile F-85 and
Buick introduces the first American V-6 passenger car
As part of the 1962 model year, Chevrolet introduces a
new line of smaller cars, the Chevy II.
The U. S. Department of Justice files a criminal
indictment against GM on charges of monopolistic
practices in the production and sale of diesel electric
locomotives. A federal judge grants a motion to dismiss
the grand jury indictment in 1964.
GM produces its 75,000,000th U.S.-made vehicle (March
The number of GM shareholders passes the 1,000,000 mark.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division,
charges GM and three Chevrolet dealer trade associations
in criminal and civil suits for violation of the Sherman
Act by restricting sales of Chevrolets in the Los Angeles
area through discount houses. In 1966, the U.S. District
Court for Southern California enters the final judgment
enjoining GM from conspiring with any group or
association of Chevrolet dealers to limit sales by such
dealers or through discount houses or referral services.
Adam Opel, A.G. celebrates the 100th anniversary of its
founding in 1862.
Opel opens its new plant at Bochum, Germany.
Opel introduces a new lower-priced small car, the Kadett.
Holdens manufactures its one-millionth vehicle.
Ethyl Corporation is sold to Albemarle Paper
Heaters and defrosters become standard equipment on
A new dual-circuit braking system is introduced on
Buick introduces the prestige, E-body based, Rivera, as a
Alfred P. Sloans book, My Years With General
Motors, is published.
Chevrolet introduces its midsize Malibu as a 1964 model.
GMs Futurama at the New York Worlds Fair
opens and attracts more than 29,000,000 visitors during a
Ralph Naders book, Unsafe at Any Speed,
critical of GM and the Corvair, is published.
The B-O-P Assembly Division is replaced by the GM
Harrison Radiator produces its 5-millionth automobile air
Oldsmobile introduces the front-wheel-drive Toronado, the
first FWD car to be built and sold in the U.S. since the
GM introduces the industrys first energy absorbing
GM introduces front seat shoulder belts on 1967 models.
(Rear seat shoulder belts are available as a dealer
Cadillacs front-wheel drive Fleetwood Eldorado is
introduced as a 1967 model.
Chevrolet introduces the F-body Camaro as a 1967 model.
The following January, Pontiac introduces the Firebird,
its third line of cars, as a 1967 model.
The U. S. Senate, Committee on Government Operations,
investigates allegations of harassment of Ralph Nader by
GM. James M. Roche, GM President, apologizes for the
incident in a statement before the Subcommittee on
GM produces its 100,000,000th U.S.-made vehicle (April
Changes in the organization and executive
responsibilities are announced November 1. The
designation Operating Divisions is discontinued and
divided into two groups: the Car and Truck, Body and
Assembly, Automotive Components Group; and the Overseas,
Canadian, Non-Automotive and Defense Group.
The Safety Research and Development Laboratory and
Vehicle Dynamics Test Area are dedicated at the Milford
The new 50-story General Motors Building opens in New
Euclid Division is renamed Earthmoving Equipment Division
following on the consent judgment on July 1 which
requires GM to sell to the White Motor Corporation the
name "Euclid" and certain equipment and assets
used in the manufacture of off-highway dump trucks. A
major expansion program for the Earthmoving Equipment
Division is also announced.
Six passenger car and truck assembly plants previously
operated by Fisher Body and Chevrolet Motor Division are
transferred to the management of GM Assembly Division.
Chevrolet is to have additional responsibility of
engineering, producing and distributing a new
American-built small car.
General Motors Chile S.A. is established.
General Motors Institute marks its 50th anniversary and
dedicates its new South Campus.
All GM operations in Canada are consolidated into General
Motors of Canada, Ltd.
Chevrolet announces that it is discontinuing production
GM manufactures the guidance and navigation systems which
guide the Apollo 11 astronauts to mans first
landing on the moon and safely back to earth.
Chevrolet introduces the Vega as a 1970 model.
GM forms a five-member Public Policy Committee,
consisting of members of the Board of Directors who are
not officers of the company.
A two-phase automotive emissions control program directed
to spread use of unleaded gasoline nationwide in the U.S.
is announced by Edward Cole, President of GM. GM
introduces no lead or low lead tolerant engines on all of
its 1971 models in the U.S. & Canada. Industrial air
and water pollution control programs are announced at a
General Motors news conference.
GM production in the US is stopped by a 10-week UAW
strike, beginning on September 15 and ending on November
GM forms an Environmental Activities Staff to concentrate
on the performance of GM products in the environment.
GM and Isuzu Motors Limited sign an agreement under which
GM acquires 34.2% interest in Isuzu. Initial plans are
for GM to market and service Isuzu trucks.
A Science Advisory Committee, consisting of top
scientists selected from across the US, is formed to
advise the GM Executive Committee on GM policies and
activities concerning basic and applied research.
GM designs and manufactures the mobility system for the
Lunar Roving Vehicle which enables Apollo 15 astronauts
to accomplish mankinds first vehicular drive on the
GM acquires all shares of Capital Motors Assembly Corp.
in Tampoia, Malaysia, and forms GM Malaysia BHD. GM
Malaysia BHD is sold to Oriental Holdings BHD of Malaysia
A new combined lap and shoulder belt system with both a
light and a buzzer to remind the front occupants that
they should "buckle-up" becomes standard on all
GM enters into an agreement to form a joint venture
company, General Motors Iran, Ltd. GM has 45 percent
interest. The agreement provides for the production and
distribution of General Motors passenger cars in Iran. In
December 1978, GM exits from both the plant and the
GM enters into a joint venture with Shinjin Motor Co. of
Seoul, Korea, to build and market cars in Korea. The
joint venture is named General Motors Korea Company, Ltd.
The company is renamed Saehan Motor in 1976. In 1982,
Daewoo Group assumes managerial control and renames it
Daewoo Motor Co. Ltd. GM retains 50% stake until 1992.
GM establishes a jointly owned vehicle and transmission
manufacturing operation in the Philippines with two
Philippine companies. In 1979, Isuzu Motors invests in
the venture, GM Philipinas, Inc. The assembly and
transmission plants cease operation in 1985.
GM manufactures the first production car equipped with an
air cushion restraint system as an option.
The first GMC motor home is introduced.
GM and the UAW agree to establish the National Committee
to improve the Quality of Work Life.
A European Advisory Council of top business leaders from
across Europe is formed to advise Corporations
chairman on business activities in Europe.
The Arab oil embargo and ensuing gasoline price increases
lead to a rapid an unexpected rise in sales of small
Japanese-built cars in the US.
GM introduces the catalytic converter, a technology it
developed in the 1960s. All 1975 model cars sold in the
U.S. and Canada are equipped with these catalytic
converters to comply with provisions of the Federal Clean
GM proceeds with plans for an unprecedented downsizing of
its US cars.
General Motors Kenya Limited is established as a joint
Chevrolet introduces the Chevette in October. This
U.S.-built "T-car" was first designed by Opel
and is also manufactured by GM subsidiaries in Argentina,
Brazil and England and sold under the names Kadett,
Chevette, Gemini and K-180
GM introduces its re-sized Chevrolet, Pontiac,
Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac full-size and luxury cars
The last American convertible is built by Cadillac in
April 1976. Convertibles are reintroduced in 1984.
GM establishes a new Consumer Relations and Service
The Statement of Principles of U.S. Firms with Affiliates
in the Republic of South Africa is issued by Rev. Leon H.
Sullivan and endorsed by twelve American firms, including
GM offers the first domestic diesel engine on its 1978
U.S. passenger cars - the Olds Delta Eighty Eights,
Ninety Eights and Custom Cruisers.
GMC introduces the RTS coach, incorporating the newest
technology into mass transit products
GM introduces re-designed 1977 Buick, Chevrolet, Pontiac
and Oldsmobile midsize models.
A major reorganization of General Motors overseas
operations is initiated in March with the official intent
of closer management coordination with the North American
operations. The position of Group Executive in Charge of
Operations is created with five vice presidents reporting
to that position, each with responsibility for a
The General Motors Cancer Research Foundation is formed
in September to recognize individual excellence in cancer
GM introduces redesigned front-wheel-drive personal
luxury cars from Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile in
September as 1979 models.
Frigidaire Division appliance business is sold to White
Consolidated Industries, Inc. Frigidaires Dayton,
Ohio production facilities are converted to GM automotive
GM announces the formation of Motors Trading Corporation,
a wholly owned trading subsidiary to serve divisions and
GM acquires majority interest in Colmotores (Colombia).
GM introduces newly designed front-wheel-drive compact
cars, the Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile
Omega and Pontiac Phoenix X-body models.
GM announces a $2 billion European expansion program
which includes plans for a new assembly plant in
Zaragoza, Spain, and an engine plant in Austria.
GM announces that it will spend $40 billion from 1980
through 1984 in a worldwide program to redesign its
vehicles and modernize its assembly plants.
GM establishes the new position of Vice President of
Quality and Reliability.
GMs worldwide TEREX earthmoving operations are sold
to IBH Holding AG of the Federal Republic of Germany.
GM announces plans to build five new plants in Europe to
manufacture automotive components three in Spain,
one in Austria and one in Northern Ireland.
With the US economy and industry in recession, GM suffers
its first corporate financial loss since 1920.
Diesel Equipment Division is consolidated with Rochester
GMs new worldwide Truck & Bus Group is formed
with responsibility for the design, engineering,
manufacture, sales and service of all GM trucks, buses
and vans in North America and throughout the world. In
1982, the truck manufacturing and assembly operations of
GM Assembly Division, Chevrolet Motor Division, and GMC
Truck and Coach Division are merged to form Truck &
Bus Manufacturing Division. Headquarters for both are to
be located in Pontiac, Michigan.
Delco Air Conditioning Division is merged with Harrison
GM and Suzuki Motor Company, Ltd., the worlds
largest manufacturer of mini-compact vehicles, announce
an agreement to develop future supply and distribution
arrangements. The agreement provides that GM purchase 14
million shares (approximately a five percent interest) in
New Departure Hyatt Bearings Divisions Clark, N.J.
plant is sold to the new employee-owned Hyatt Clark
AC Delco Division and GM Parts Division are consolidated
into the new GM Warehousing & Distribution Division.
GM enters a joint venture in Taiwan to build heavy duty
trucks, buses and diesel engines when it purchases a 45
percent holding in Hua Tung Automotive Corp. In 1982, GM
withdraws from the joint venture and sells its 45 percent
equity interest. In 1989, GM establishes General Motors
Taiwan, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary, to import and
distribute North American and Saturn vehicles, and to
import, assemble and distribute Opel vehicles.
The UAW grants contract concessions to Ford, Chrysler and
GM as recession continues in the US and imports gain
market share at the Big Threes expense. GM begins
to suffer more market share loss than Ford and Chrysler.
GM and the UAW sign a new labor agreement that
emphasizes improvements in competitiveness, quality of
work life and job security provisions, including the
Guaranteed Income Stream.
GM opens its newest European assembly plant near
Zaragoza, Spain. To date, this is the largest expansion
project outside the U.S. ever undertaken by the
corporation. The plant produces the front-wheel-drive
Opel Corsa, the smallest car yet produced by GM.
GM and Fanuc Ltd. of Japan form GMFaunc (GMF) Robotics
Corporation, a U.S.-based joint venture to design,
manufacture and sell robotics systems.
GM introduces the redesigned front-wheel-drive 1983 Buick
Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
and Pontiac 6000.
General Motors Institute (GMI) is renamed GMI Engineering
and Management Institute and is re-chartered as an
independent educational institution, separate from
General Motors. It is later renamed Kettering University
GMs Engineering and Manufacturing Staffs are
restructured as the Advanced Product and Manufacturing
Engineering Staff and Current Engineering and
Manufacturing Services Staff.
GMs World of Motion Exhibit opens in EPCOT Center
at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Before the
year is out, the one-millionth visitor to the exhibit is
GM signs an agreement forming Industries Mecaniques
Maghebines, a joint venture which will produce commercial
vans and light-duty trucks at an assembly plant in
Kairouan, Tunisia, about 100 miles south of Tunis. The
joint venture is with Isuzu and Tunisian private
GM and Toyota Motor Corporation agree to form a joint
venture, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), to
produce a small Chevrolet automobile in the Fremont,
Calif., assembly plant previously operated by GM.
GM and the UAW launch the "Care and Share" fund
donation program, which nets more than $13 million worth
of canned food for Americas needy. The effort is
the largest and most comprehensive food donation program
ever conducted by private enterprise.
GM and Isuzu Motors Ltd. form a joint venture to produce
light-duty and medium duty trucks and bus chassis at a
manufacturing operation near Cairo, Egypt.
Buick Motor Division announces plans to consolidate its
car assembly operations in Flint with Fisher Body
Divisions metal fabricating and body assembly
facilities. The $200 million project is dubbed
Detroit Diesel Allison Divisions gas turbine
business is separated to form Allison Gas Turbine
GM observes its 75th anniversary (Sept. 16). More than
235 million vehicles worldwide have been produced since
its incorporation in 1908.
The 1984 Chevrolet Corvette is introduced, with the
cars first major styling change in 15 years.
The UAW and GM announce a comprehensive retraining and
training program to serve some 9,300 laid off UAW-GM
workers in Flint. The project includes the establishment
of a Regional Skills Development and Training Center.
GM announces its Saturn Project a
"no-year" developmental program for a new
family of subcompact cars it plans to produce in the
U.S., using start-to-finish innovation. The UAW and GM
unveil plans for a Joint Study Center aimed at achieving
an unprecedented union-management partnership in the
Saturn Project. In 1985, Saturn Corporation is created as
a separate subsidiary, adding a sixth nameplate to
GMs North American passenger car marques.
MAGNEQUENCH, a new class of high-performance permanent
magnets which can substantially reduce the size and
weight of electric motors, it announced. It is to have
its first application in a new Delco Remy cranking motor.
A new organizational structure for GMs North
American Passenger Car Operations is formed. Two
integrated car groups, Chevrolet, Pontiac, GM of Canada
(C-P-C) and Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac (B-O-C), each
have complete responsibility for their respective
products, including engineering, manufacturing, assembly
The worlds first electrically driven fuel-saving,
integral power brake system for cars and light trucks,
called Powermaster, is unveiled by Delco Moraine
GM acquires Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS),
one of the leading data processing and telecommunications
companies in the world.
Some 531,000 U.S. employees receive the first payout from
GMs Profit Sharing Plans. $322.2 million is
GM and the UAW sign a new three-year labor agreement that
provides unprecedented job and income security for
GM introduces its redesigned front-wheel-drive luxury
models, the 1985 Buick Electra, Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
Regency and Cadillac DeVilles and Fleetwood sedan.
The new Opel Kadett and Vauxhall Nova are named
Europes "Car of the Year 1985" by
jury of leading European motor journalists.
The General Motors Building in Detroit is named a
National Historic Landmark.
General Motors acquires Hughes Aircraft Company, regarded
as one of the leading defense electronics firms in the
world. It is to remain independently managed as a
subsidiary of GM Hughes Electronics Corporation (GMHE)
a new wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors.
Delco Electronics Corporation becomes a subsidiary of
Etak, Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. gives GM exclusive rights
to use Etaks technology in the manufacture of
Navigational systems in cars and trucks in the United
States and Canada.
General Motors acquires Group Lotus, the U.K.- based
engineering consulting and performance car manufacturing
firm. In 1993, GM sells Group Lotus and Lotus Cars USA to
Bugatti International SAH of Italy.
GM Europe is established to coordinate and organize
GMs expanding passenger car business in Europe.
Headquarters is located in Zurich, Switzerland.
GM withdraws from South Africa, selling its operations to
a group headed by local management under the name Delta
GM and Seattle Silicon sign a multi-year R&D and
licensing agreement for Very Large Scale Integration
(super chip) technology.
Delco Moraine Division and Akebono Brake Industry of
Japan form a joint venture to produce brake assemblies at
Elizabethtown, Ky., beginning in 1987.
GM and Volvo
form a joint venture in the U.S. to develop, produce, and
market heavy-duty trucks for North America. Volvo is
given operational responsibility for the Volvo GM Heavy
General Motors of Canada and Suzuki announce a joint
venture, CAMI, to manufacture small cars and sport
utility vehicles in Canada.
General Motors-Holdens Limited reorganizes into two
new GM subsidiaries, Holdens Engine and Components
Company and Holdens Motor Company.
Service Parts Operations is reorganized in the U.S. to
strengthen GMs competitive position in the
automotive aftermarket sales business. The reorganization
eliminates the GM Warehousing & Distribution Division
as a separate unit.
GM confirms plans to close 11 U.S. assembly and metal
fabricating operations that became redundant as a result
of the plant modernization process begun in the late
UAW/GM Human Resource Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan
Greyhound Corporation announces intent to purchase
GMs transit bus business.
A new six-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty, with
six-year, 100,000 mile corrosion protection, is
introduced for most GM North American cars and trucks.
GM establishes a new headquarters office for Latin
American Operations in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Oldsmobile begins production of the Quad 4 engine at its
Delta Township plant near Lansing, Michigan.
The Automotive Components Group is formed, consisting of
component divisions realigned into the Chassis and
Transmission Components Group and the Body and Engine
Detroit Diesel Allison and Penske Corporation of Red
Bank, N.J., form a joint venture company, Detroit Diesel
Corporation, for the design, manufacture, and marketing
of diesel engines.
GM Sunraycer, designed and built by team of GM, Hughes
Aircraft and AeroVironment, Inc., wins the 1,950-mile
inaugural World Solar Challenge Race across Australia,
finishing 2-1/2 days ahead of runner-up.
GM and Toyota announce plans to establish joint venture
in Australia to coordinate design, engineering and
product sharing strategies. It is to include assets from
GMs Holdens Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyotas
GM introduces its "GM10" family of newly
redesigned mid-size cars the Buick Regal,
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and Pontiac Grand Prix.
Allison Transmission Division is created with design,
manufacturing, and sales responsibilities for all medium
and heavy- duty automatic transmissions within General
GM hosts the largest-ever single showing of GM technology
at the "Teamwork & TechnologyFor Today and
Tomorrow" exhibition held at the Waldorf-Astoria
Hotel in New York.
GM spends a record $1.1 billion with minority-owned and
operated suppliers in the United States during 1988.
AC Spark Plug and Rochester Products Divisions are
consolidated into AC Rochester Division.
GMAC introduces a new corporation-wide GM consumer
leasing program called "SmartLease by GMAC" to
respond to growing market in retail leasing of vehicles
for personal transportation.
GM produces its last heavy-duty truck in Pontiac,
Michigan, completing phase-out of heavy truck business
following its joint-venture with Volvo-White.
Harrison Radiator Division produces its 100th million air
Chevrolet introduces its Geo line of small vehicles with
Geo Metro, Spectrum and Tracker.
Two GM assembly plants in Europe adopt innovative steps
to raise productivity. GM Continental in Belgium merges
the workforce of its two plants into one and operates two
ten-hour shifts on five days and one on Saturday, with
three crews each working four days a week. GM Espana in
Spain adds a night shift and produces cars on three
GM Europe launches the all new Opel Vectra and Vauxhall
Cavalier and introduces its first 4x4 powertrain.
Four-door sedan versions of the "GM 10" Pontiac
Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme are introduced.
The Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette
all-purpose vehicles debut. These models feature the
largest plastic panels ever put on any vehicle.
GM offers its driver-side Supplemental Inflatable
Restraint System on 15 passenger cars for the 1990 model
year standard equipment on 13 vehicles and an
option on two others.
The two-millionth "J-body" subcompact car comes
off the line at Lordstown, Ohio, and the one-millionth
Pontiac Grand Am is built in Lansing, Michigan.
Electro-Motive Division introduces the first U.S.-built
and operated diesel-electric locomotive to use
alternating current (AC) technology.
GM Espanas Zaragoza plant, which opened in 1982 to
produce Opel Corsa/Vauxhall Nova models, builds its
Delco Products, Fisher Guide and Inland Divisions are
realigned and consolidated into two units with Delco and
Fisher Guide absorbing strategic business units of
Inland. Fisher Guide becomes Inland Fisher Guide
Delco Moraine, New Departure Hyatt, and Saginaw Divisions
are realigned and consolidated into two units. The
strategic business units of New Departure (NDH) are
absorbed by Delco and Saginaw. Delco is renamed Delco
Moraine NHD Division.
GM begins operations in Turkey. Two plants produce
interior trim and electric wiring components for export
to Opel and sale to other auto manufacturers, and an
assembly plant is established in Torbali to build Opel
Vectras for the Turkish market.
Opel is recognized as the European leader in
environmentally "clean cars" and becomes the
first volume producer to make closed-loop catalytic
converter systems standard on all gasoline-engine models
in Germany. Throughout Europe, Opel offers the widest
model and engine range of low emission cars.
B-O-C Lansing Automotive Divisions Lansing (Mich.)
assembly plant produces Oldsmobiles 30-millionth
GM and other automakers join major oil companies in joint
venture to develop formulated fuels to reduce vehicle
GM purchases 50 percent of Saab Automobile AB of Sweden
to develop, manufacture and market Saab passenger cars
GM and Isuzu form joint venture company in Australia,
Isuzu-General Motors Australia Limited, to manufacture
and market commercial vehicles through Holdens.
GM debuts a new electric car, the Impact, in Los Angeles.
World-wide public reaction is so favorable that GM
announces plans to market the Impact as soon as possible.
As part of its Intelligent Highway Vehicle System (IHVS)
program, GM announces participation in TRAVTEK, an
Orlando Fla., experiment aimed at finding new ways to
reduce and prevent traffic congestion.
GM announces that by the fall of 1995, virtually all of
its new passenger cars will be equipped with driver and
passenger-side air bags.
AC Rochester Division and Volga Auto Works (VAZ), the
leading vehicle manufacturer in the Soviet Union, sign
agreements valued at nearly $1 billion (US) that call for
AC Rochester to supply fuel injection and emissions
control subsystems and other engine management
A new GM Powertrain Division is formed from the
integration of GM Engine Division and Hydra-matic
Division, creating a single powertrain-focused
All 1991 Cadillacs come with standard anti-lock brakes
The first Saturn car rolls off the line at Spring Hill,
Tennessee on July 30. In the fall, GM introduces its
all-new Saturn cars to compete against the imports in the
small car market.
GM-Holdens produces its five-millionth automobile,
becoming the only Australian car manufacturer to have
reached that milestone.
Allison Gas Turbine Division and Allison Transmission
Division, Indianapolis, celebrate the 75th anniversary of
the Allison name as part of the GM family.
Adam Opel AG and Automobilwerke Eisenach (AWE) of East
Germany form a joint venture in Eisenach, Opel-AWE
Ges.m.b.H., for vehicle assembly and components
production. The first Opel Vectra comes off the line in
1990 Packard Electric Division celebrates its 100th
In Hungary, GM forms a joint venture with RABA, the
state-owned producer of trucks, axles and diesel engines,
to build engines and assemble cars beginning in 1992.
Packard Electric Europe forms a joint venture with
Villszov, a Hungarian firm, to manufacture automotive
power and signal distribution systems primarily for
export for Opel cars produced and sold in Western Europe.
GM sponsors Sunrace USA, North Americas
largest-ever competition for solar-powered vehicles. The
1,640- mile route through eight states was traveled by 32
college teams in cars they designed and built.
With Iraqs invasion of Kuwait, the US economy and
vehicle market decline.
New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a 50/50
venture between GM and Toyota, produces its one-millionth
GM offers anti-lock brakes and traction control on more
models than any other manufacturer in the world.
In the face of financial loses, GM Chairman Robert
Stempel announces plans to idle 21 U.S. and Canadian
assembly and manufacturing facilities over the next four
years, and to reduce the number of hourly and salaried
employees by 74,000 as part of a program to restore
The Board of Directors elects John F. Smith, Jr., chief
executive officer and president following the resignation
of Robert C. Stempel. At the same time, John G. Smale,
retired chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble and a GM
director since 1982, is named Chairman of the Board.
A major reorganization is launched with the establishment
of North American Operations (NAO), based in Warren,
Michigan, and General Motors International Operations
(GMIO), based in Zurich, Switzerland.
GM unveils the GM Mastercard with an unprecedented five
percent rebate, designed to save consumers money on the
purchase of a new GM car or truck.
GM announces that 50 Electric Vehicles (EV1, successor of
the Impact), will be produced in 1993 for use by
utilities, local governments and others who provide
information about performance capabilities and gain
feedback on user requirements.
Cadillac Motor Car Company Engineering and Manufacturing
and Flint Automotive Division are consolidated into one
organization - Cadillac/Luxury Car Engineering and
Manufacturing Division (CLCD).
The Midsize and Rear Drive Automotive Divisions are
consolidated into a new organization, the Midsize Car
The GM Truck & Bus Group changes its name to the
General Motors North American Truck Platforms (NATP).
Later it becomes the General Motors Truck Group.
GM and Jinbei Automotive Company Ltd. in China enter into
a joint venture called Jinbei GM Automotive Company Ltd.
to produce light commercial vehicles in the Peoples
Republic of China.
The one-millionth Corvette is built in Bowling Green, Ky.
GM joins the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
(PNGV). This venture among GM, Chrysler, Ford and the
U.S. Government, will work toward developing new fuel
efficient cars and technologies.
The Chevrolet Cavalier becomes best-selling GM passenger
car for the calendar year with sales of approximately
The GM Truck Product Center is organized in Pontiac,
Toyota and GM sign an unprecedented supply and sales
agreement under which GM will build right-hand drive
Chevrolet Cavaliers in the U.S. Toyota will purchase
these models from GM and sell them in Japan.
GM forms a joint venture company in Indonesia to assemble
and distribute passenger cars and light commercial
vehicles. In 1997, GM, which previously owned 60 percent,
buys the remaining 40 percent stake in GMBI (PT General
Motors Buana Indonesia) from its local partner, Garmak
Motor of the Mercu Buana Group. In 1998, the company
changes its name to PT General Motors Indonesia.
Hughes Electronics introduces DirecTV, the first
high-power direct broadcast satellite TV distribution
system in the U.S. It is soon the most successful
consumer electronics product launch in history.
GMAC introduces SmartCare, a mechanical and maintenance
program specifically designed for leased vehicles.
General Motors becomes the first U.S. automaker to offer
Daytime Running Lights designed to improve the visibility
of vehicles in all weather conditions as standard on all
of its new cars and trucks.
GM and Energy Conversion Devices Inc. establish GM
Ovonic, a joint venture to develop, manufacture and
commercialize Ovonic nickel metal hydride batteries for
General Motors and the Walt Disney Company sign a new
contract that ensures GMs presence at the Walt
Disney World Resort in Florida until the 21st Century.
The contract extends the partnership at Epcot until 2007
and provides for a complete redesign of the existing GM
World of Motion pavilion.
GM, Chrysler and Ford jointly release a single supplier
quality standard. Known as QS-9000, the Quality Systems
Requirements now replace Chryslers "Supplier
Quality Assurance," Fords "Q101,"
and GMs "Targets for Excellence" and
"General Quality Standard."
GM sales beyond North America exceed 3 million units for
the first time.
GM North American Operations announces the creation of
the VLE (vehicle line executives) system designed to
provide strong, single-point management of vehicle
programs and accelerate the vehicle development process.
General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry
Corporation (SAIC) sign an agreement for a proposed
vehicle joint venture, a joint venture technical
development center and other related projects in
Hughes Electronics becomes the largest supplier of
commercial communications satellites in the world.
GM announces plans to sell U.S.-made right-hand-drive
Saturn cars in Japan through its own network of dealers
starting in 1997. Saturn Japan, a division of General
Motors Japan, begins selling cars through Saturn
dealerships in Japan in April 1997.
Automotive Components Group (ACG) Worldwide is renamed
Delphi Automotive Systems. Later, in 1998, GM announces
that it will offer an initial public offering (IPO) for
Delphi stock in 1999.
GM is the official car and truck sponsor of the 1996
Olympics in Atlanta.
Motors Trading Corporation is dissolved.
With the introduction of the EV1, GM becomes the first
automaker in modern times to market a specifically
designed electric car to the public. GM launches a
website on the World Wide Web to provide an overview of
it product lines and services.
Pontiac and GMC marketing divisions are merged to form
GM announces a housing initiative in Mexico with the
Mexican government agency Infonavit and Habitat for
Humanity to make new housing affordable for several
thousand Delphi employees.
GM announces that it will purchase the Renaissance Center
in Detroit for its new global headquarters.
EDS is officially split-off from GM.
The GM-NAO International Product Center (IPC) is formed
to enhance GMs vehicle export activities. The
former North American Export Sales (NAES), International
Regulations, Canadian Export Operations (CANEXPO) and
Specialty Vehicle Operations (SVO) are consolidated into
General Motors returns to South Africa by acquiring a 49%
equity stake in Delta Motors.
Service Parts Operations moves into new world
headquarters in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
General Motors University is created, emphasizing the
vision of a Learing organization.
GM and Hughes announce and complete the spin-off of the
Hughes defense electronics business, followed by the
merger of that business with Raytheon Company and the
transfer of Delco Electronics from Hughes to Delphi.
GM announces a restructuring of its North American sales
and marketing operations, replacing marketing
division-specific organizations with a single sales,
service and parts system divided into five regions in the
On June 5,1998, UAW workers at two key plants in Flint,
Michigan, go on strike. GM North American vehicle
production is shut down until the strikes are resolved on
General Motors and Delphi Automotive Systems announce
that Delphi will become a fully independent,
publicly-traded company during 1999.
General Motors and Isuzu Motors Ltd. announces the
formation of a new joint venture company, DMAX Ltd., to
manufacture 6.6-liter direct-injection diesel engines.
The facility will be located in Moraine, OH.
The GMIO business sector is eliminated and all automotive
operations worldwide are brought together in a single
organization, GM Automotive Operations.
GM announces $1.5 billion investment in its southeast
Michigan engineering facilities creating major functional
centers at six key campuses in the region.
Isuzu Motors Ltd. and General Motors Corporation agree to
further strengthen their business alliance in the
commercial vehicle field. GM is to raise its equity share
in Isuzu to 49 percent.