The history of the General Motors Corporation
History of General Motors Corporation: how it all began
The history of General Motors Corporation spans a little over 100 years after its owner saw how popular the automobile was becoming at the turn of the 20th century.
In 1908, William ďBillyĒ Durant, one of the leading manufacturers of horse-drawn vehicles, founded General Motors. It was a time of new ideas and inventions such as the light bulb and the telephone. As a result, the public was ready for a new way to travel and demand grew.
Setting the Standard
During the teens and the 1920ís, General Motors Corporation
opened more than a dozen new plants, setting the standard for automotive
design. Up until then, the Ford Model T had been the standard. It was more
The 1960ís ushered in a volatile time filled with a variety of concerns. One of these concerns was environmental. Increased foreign competition and higher prices resulted in vehicle downsizing throughout the auto industry. This happened across all of General Motors Corporationís vehicle lines and began an age of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. In 1971, General Motors Corporation introduced engines that ran on gasoline that was either unleaded or low-lead, and then in 1974, further reduced emissions by introducing the catalytic converter, the technology of which is still used in the present day. Just one year prior, in 1973, they became the first to offer air bags in cars.
More change came in the early Ď80ís when
resulted in a series of reorganizations in the company including a major
production expansion in 1982 when they opened a new facility in
Efficiency and Innovation
Despite this globalization, various competitors throughout
the world continued to lead the automotive industry despite General Motors
Corporationís legacy. They pushed back by continuing to design smaller, more
efficient cars in order to compete in foreign markets such as
Sadly, General Motors Corporation claimed bankruptcy in 2009
due to the recession and global credit crisis. It reorganized with the help of
a bridge loan from the U.S. Treasury and is now smaller and leaner than the
original company. Four brands remain in the
General Motors Corporation has been at the forefront of automotive technology throughout its long history. From the days of the horse and buggy, General Motors has remained a strong competitor throughout the global automobile market.