September 16, 1908

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant on this day in 1908 as a holding company for McLaughlin automobiles of Canada. In the beginning GM held only the Buick Motor Company, but within a decade it would acquire more than twenty companies including Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Oakland, which was later known as Pontiac. Durant signed a 15-year contract in Canada with the exchange of 500,000 shares of Buick stock for 500,000 shares of McLaughlin Stock. Dr. Campbell, Durant’s son-in-law, put 1,000,000 shares on the stock market in Chicago Buick (then controlled by Durant). Durant acquired Oldsmobile later in 1908. The next year, he brought in Cadillac, Cartercar, Elmore, Ewing, Oakland, Reliance Motor Truck Company and Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, the latter two being the predecessors to GMC. In 1910 Welch and Rainier were added to the ever growing list of GM subsidiaries. The same year there was a deal to purchase for for $8 million, but it actually fell through, which resulted in Durant losing control of his company.  In 1911, after leaving GM, Durant co-founded Chevrolet Motor Company with Louis Chevrolet. In 1916, after a stock buyback campaign, Chevrolet would own 54.5% of GM stock and Durant would return as head of GM. Later acquisitions would include Vauxhall of England in 1925, 80 percent of Germany’s Opel in 1929 and Holden of Australia in 1931. Today General Motors automobiles are built by Vauxhall, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Opel, and Wuling. PicsWilliam C. DurantGM headquarters from 1923 to 1996, in DetroitThe Renaissance Center in Detroit, is the current world headquarters for GM

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