GM at 100: A Timeline

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Thread: GM at 100: A Timeline

  1. #1
    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 Murrow's Avatar
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    GM at 100: A Timeline

    A brief history of General Motors Corp.

    By The Associated Press

    As General Motors Corp. prepares to celebrate its 100th
    anniversary, some key events in the giant automaker's history:

    Sept. 16, 1908 - General Motors Company founded by William C.

    1909 - GM sells 25,000 cars and trucks.

    1910 - Durant brings the Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Cadillac,
    Champion ignition, AC spark plug and other companies into GM. Sales
    rise 60 percent, but earnings lag. Durant is ousted by bankers as
    company sinks into debt.

    1911 - Electric self-starter first appears on a Cadillac.

    1916 - GM incorporated as General Motors Corp. Durant, after
    founding company that builds Chevrolets, regains control.

    1917-19 - GM shifts most truck production to war effort.

    1920 - Durant resigns, later files personal bankruptcy and dies
    running bowling alleys.

    1920s - GM creates product policy aiming Buick, Pontiac,
    Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Cadillac at five different groups of

    1921 - GM accounts for 12 percent of U.S. car market.

    1923 - Alfred P. Sloan named president and chief executive.

    1925 - GM acquires Vauxhall Motors Ltd. of Great Britain.

    1929 - GM acquires Adam Opel AG of Germany.

    1937 - Violent sit-down strikes by GM hourly workers in Flint,

    Mich., shake company, lead to United Auto Workers representation.

    1941 - GM market share grows to 41 percent.

    1942 - Civilian auto production halted and plants turned to war


    1945-46 - Workers strike for 113 days.

    1948 - First automobile fins unveiled, on a Cadillac.

    1949 - After purchase of National City Lines of Los Angeles, GM

    accused of buying streetcar companies since 1920s and replacing

    them with bus systems. GM is convicted just once, of conspiracy in

    the Los Angeles case.

    1953 - Air conditioning first offered, on a Cadillac.

    1954 - GM's U.S. market share reaches 54 percent. Company makes
    50 millionth car.

    1955 - GM introduces Chevrolet V-8 engine.

    1956 - Sloan retires as chairman.

    1960 - Reacting to invasion of small European cars, GM
    introduces Chevrolet Corvair. Car later attacked by Ralph Nader,
    who wrote book "Unsafe at Any Speed" that led to congressional
    auto safety hearings.

    1979 - GM's U.S. employment peaks at 618,365, making it the
    largest private employer in the country. Worldwide employment is
    853,000. Decade features sales decline, recession, Arab oil embargo
    and gains by Japanese automakers.

    1980 - Roger B. Smith named chairman. GM loses more than $750
    million as car and truck sales plunge 26 percent.

    1981 - GM consolidates truck, bus and van operations. Auto
    workers bash Japanese cars with sledge hammers. Company earns
    $333.4 million on $62.7 billion in revenue.

    1983 - GM and Toyota Motor Corp. of Japan form joint venture to
    build cars at a GM-owned plant in Fremont, Calif. Smith announces
    Saturn project to fight Japanese cars. GM makes $3.7 billion.

    1984 - GM overhauls North American organization; acquires
    Electronic Data Systems Corp., owned by Texas billionaire H. Ross
    Perot, for $2.5 billion. Earnings rise to $4.5 billion on revenue
    of $84.9 billion.

    1985 - Company forms new Saturn Corp. subsidiary. GM acquires
    Hughes Aircraft Co. for $5 billion. GM makes $4 billion.

    1986 - GM announces plans to close 11 U.S. plants. Employment
    grows to 877,000 as earnings fall to $3.9 billion. After
    infighting, Perot resigns from board and gets $700 million in

    1987 - GM and UAW reach contract prohibiting closure of a plant
    unless its product sales fall. Earnings rise to $3.6 billion.

    1988 - Earnings rise to $4.6 billion and revenue hits $123.6
    billion. Employment drops to 766,000.

    1989 - GM complies with federal regulations and equips about 15
    percent of fleet with driver's air bags, blames devices for
    boosting car prices. Profits fall to $4.2 billion.

    1990 - GM and Saab-Scania AB of Sweden form joint venture to
    make cars in Europe. Smith retires as chairman, succeeded by
    President Robert Stempel. GM launches Saturn, takes $2.1 billion
    charge for four plant closings, and profits fall to $102 million as
    auto sales plummet.

    1991 - Company loses industry record $4.45 billion. Stempel
    announces GM will close 21 plants over the next few years and
    eliminate 9,000 salaried and 15,000 hourly jobs in 1992, in
    addition to layoffs at shuttered plants.

    1992 - Board strips some of Stempel's authority. Stempel later
    resigns, saying rumors about his future compromised his ability to
    lead. Jack Smith gets title of chief executive officer and outside
    director John Smale is named chairman.

    1996 - GM spins off Electronic Data Systems as a separate

    1997 - GM sells defense electronics business of Hughes
    Electronics to Raytheon and merges Hughes' auto parts business with
    Delphi Automotive Systems (now Delphi Corp.).

    1998 - Strikes at two Michigan parts plants shut down almost all
    North American production.

    1999 - Delphi is spun off as a separate company. GM purchases
    rights to the Hummer brand from AM General.

    2000 - President Rick Wagoner replaces Smith as CEO. GM cuts 10
    percent of white-collar employment.

    2002 - GM spends $251 million on 42 percent stake in South
    Korea's bankrupt Daewoo Motor and names it GM Daewoo Auto &
    Technology Co. Stake later increased to 51 percent.

    2003 - GM sells defense unit to General Dynamics Corp. for $1.1
    billion and sells 20 percent stake in Hughes Electronics to News
    Corp. for $3.1 billion.

    2004 - Last model year for Oldsmobile.

    2006 - About 47,600 GM and Delphi hourly workers take buyout or
    early retirement offers. GM investor Kirk Kerkorian suggests
    alliance with Nissan and Renault, which GM's board examines and
    rejects; Kerkorian sells much of his stake. GM sells 51 percent
    stake in GMAC Financial Services to group led by Cerberus Capital
    Management LP for $14 billion.

    2007 - GM loses $38.7 billion, including $39 billion
    third-quarter charge for unused tax credits. It's the largest
    annual loss in auto industry history. GM reaches historic contract
    with United Auto Workers that shifts billions in retiree health
    care expenses to union-administered trust. Company agrees to pay
    $33.7 billion into trust. Contract also lets company to pay some
    new hires $14 per hour. U.S. market share is 23.7 percent. GM sells
    Allison Transmission to The Carlyle Group and Onex Corp. for $5.6

    2008 - Gas prices hit $4 per gallon and truck sales plummet. GM
    announces plan to close four pickup and sport utility vehicle
    factories, plans to shed 8,350 jobs. GM announces new small car,
    plans for $15 billion in savings, with $10 billion in cost-cutting
    and $5 billion from asset sales and borrowing. Hummer brand put up
    for sale. Worldwide employment stands at about 266,000.

    Sources: Associated Press archives, Hoover's, General Motors

    (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Last edited by Murrow; 09-15-2008 at 09:18 AM.

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  3. #2
    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Bravada's Avatar
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    Re: GM at 100: A Timeline

    2004 - Last model year for Oldsmobile.
    That was rather terse...

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    Re: GM at 100: A Timeline

    Not only that, but nothing between 1960 and 1979? At least add that Alfred P. Sloan dies in 1966, or the introduction of the GTO in 1964, turbocharging on the Oldsmobile Jetfire and Chevrolet Corvair Spyder in 1962, the FWD Oldsmobile Toronado in 1966, the rise and fall of John Z. DeLorean through 1974, the purchase of the rights to use the Wankel Rotary in 1973 but never using it, the tie up between GM and Isuzu in 1971.
    Last edited by MCGARRETT; 09-15-2008 at 03:54 AM.

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    Re: GM at 100: A Timeline

    damn the 80's and 90's. damn it to hell.
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

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    Re: GM at 100: A Timeline

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravada View Post
    That was rather terse...
    Amen! That list is VERY much abridged... GM has striped ALL of the Oldsmobile firsts from that list... Nice Job GM!

    I've seen other complete lists from GM where they note the year that the millionth Pontiac is sold, the 10 millionth Oldsmobile, the millionth Vette, the 100th million Chevy, they note the firsts of the Olds Sport Omega and Fiero, the return of Convertibles in the 80's, Airbag firsts etc etc. This list is VERY sad... Not for whats on it.. but for what GM management thinks we should forget.

    As an aside how many else read that and wondered if Rick Wagoner will run a Bowling Alleys someday
    Proposed Cadillac Tag Lines...
    GM's "Back to the Future" Division,
    GM's Deja Vu Division,
    Cadillac is Truck.
    Cadillac is Cadence!
    Cadillac, you have to crawl before you walk,
    Cadillac V8? Whats a V8?
    Cadillac, the potential of mixed feelings!
    The New Cadillac Flagship: The Chevy Corvette.
    Proposed Volt Tag Line..
    People who don't like the Volt haven't driven one, and
    People who hate the Volt listen to too much talk radio.

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