16 September – On this day

The General Motors Corporation is founded on this day in 1908.

The company was founded in Flint, Michigan, as a holding company for McLaughlin Car Company of Canada Limited and Buick, then controlled by William C. Durant. At the beginning of the 20th century there were fewer than 8,000 automobiles in America and Durant had become a leading manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in Flint before making his foray into the automotive industry. GM’s co-founder was Charles Stewart Mott, whose carriage company was merged into Buick prior to GM’s creation. Over the years Mott became the largest single stockholder in GM and spent his life with his Mott Foundation which has benefited the city of Flint, his adopted home. GM acquired Oldsmobile later that year. In 1909, Durant brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland and several others. Also in 1909, GM acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessors of GMC Truck. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 along with R. S. McLaughlin to a bankers’ trust, because of the large amount of debt taken on in its acquisitions coupled with a collapse in new vehicle sales.

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