General Motors Milestones - The First 100 Years

The Automobile Magazine staff
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From a loose collection of start-ups to perhaps the most influential car company in the world came ten decades - 100 years - of history-making events. Here we recount the key markers on GM's century-long ride. Below is our list of more than 100 GM milestones.

1908 William Durant filed organization papers in New Jersey on September 16. Buick, Olds, and GMC forerunner Reliance are added later this year.

1909 Cadillac and Oakland were purchased.

1910 Cadillac introduced closed bodies and Buick built its first truck.

1911 GM was the first car company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1912 Electric starter replaced hand cranks on all Cadillacs.

1915 The first mass-produced V-8 engine introduced by Cadillac.

1916 GM's incorporation papers were filed October 13 in Delaware.

1918 Chevrolet, DELCO, and other car related enterprises were added to the fold.

1919 The 1-millionth GM vehicle was sold and GMAC credit was established.

1920 William Durant's reign terminated by losses attributable to recession.

1921 Construction of GM Building in Detroit was completed.

1922 Cadillac introduced the first thermostatic mixture-control carburetor.

1923 Alfred Sloan was appointed president and CEO. Two fruits of GM research were fast-drying lacquer paint and leaded gasoline.

1924 The auto industry's first proving grounds was established in Milford, Michigan.

1925 GM's reach was extended to England (Vauxhall), New Zealand, South Africa, and Brazil.

1926 Purchase of Fisher Body was completed.

1927 Harley Earl was recruited to create and head the auto industry's first in-house design department.

1928 Partial interest in Bendix and Fokker aviation firms were acquired.

1929 The 10 millionth GM vehicle was sold. Cadillac introduced the world's first V-16 engine 60 days after the Wall Street stock market crashed.

1930 Winton (diesel) Engine Manufacturing and Electro-Motive - key parts of what became GM's locomotive business - were acquired.

1931 Portions of Holden's in Australia and Opel in Germany were acquired.

1932 The Oakland brand was renamed Pontiac.

1933 Independent front suspension was introduced by Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile.

1934 GM began front-impact and rollover crash testing. America's first streamlined passenger train was powered by a GM 2-stroke diesel.

1935 The Electro-Motive division was established to manufacture locomotives with diesel-electric series-hybrid drive.

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