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November 29, 1996 – Facing industrial espionage charges from GM, VW executive Jose Ignacio Lopez resigns
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November 29, 1996 – Facing industrial espionage charges from GM, VW executive Jose Ignacio Lopez resigns

VW Jetta Volkswagen purchasing chief executive Jose Ignacio Lopez resigned on this day in 1996 amid charges of corporate espionage against General Motors. According to an November 30, 1996 LA Times article, "GM contends that Lopez and three of the seven GM executives he lured away to Volkswagen with him systematically stole boxes full of factory plans, component price lists, detailed new-car plans and other valuable documents and gave them to their new employer." The following article originally appeared in the New York Times on Jan 10, 1997. VW AGREES TO PAY G.M. $100 MILLION IN ESPIONAGE SUIT Bringing to an end a four-year feud between two of the world's largest companies, Volkswagen A.G. agreed to pay $100 million to the General Motors Corporation to settle accusations that ...
November 23, 1954 – The 50 millionth General Motors car is produced
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November 23, 1954 – The 50 millionth General Motors car is produced

At approximately 10 a.m. on this day in 1954, Chevrolet General Manager Thomas Keating drove a gold plated 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe off a Flint, Michigan assembly line, marking the 50 millionth automobile produced by General Motors. Shortly thereafter it would be loaded onto a flatbed parade float and towed through downtown Flint. Thousands of people packed the streets to get a glimpse of the historic vehicle. A number of other important automobiles and people flowed through the streets that day, including the first Cadillac produced under GM ownership. To commemorate the occasion, Chevrolet built 5,000 gold painted Bel Airs, though these were four door models and their trim remained chrome. This of course was much less expensive than the 716 trim parts plated with 24-car...
November 12, 1908 – GM buys Oldsmobile
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November 12, 1908 – GM buys Oldsmobile

On this day in 1908 the newly formed General Motors snapped up another automotive Brand. When GM buys Oldsmobile, the holding company immediately went to work to turn the struggling car company around. At the time, Oldsmobile was losing money after their latest product, a six cylinder model, failed to sell in the volume of the popular Curved Dash Runabout. The Curved Dash has received recognition as the first mass produced American automobile. Top 1909 Oldsmobile Model 20. Above: 1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash. By Brian Corey Following the purchase of Oldsmobile, GM introduced the Model 20 for 1909, which more or less mirrored another General Motors product, the Buick Model 10. Comparatively, the Model 20 featured a longer wheelbase and had some minor differences in its exterior st...
July 30, 1898 – The first printed automobile advertisement
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July 30, 1898 – The first printed automobile advertisement

The original Winton automobile ad A new edition of Scientific American landed on newstands on this day in 1898, and within its pages one could find the very first magazine advertisement for an automobile. Cleveland, Ohio, based Winton Motor Carriage Company ran the ad, which asked readers to “Dispense with a horse and save the expense, care and anxiety of keeping it. To run a motor carriage costs about ½ cent a mile.”  1898 Winton Alexander Winton, like many bicycle makers at the time, began experimenting with single-cylinder engines in 1896. He was soon manufacturing motors suitable for powering horseless carriages, leading him to incorporate his new car company the following year on March 15. The first Winton vehicles were hand assembled and included padded seating, a leather r...
July 29, 1909 – General Motors buys Cadillac
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July 29, 1909 – General Motors buys Cadillac

When General Motors (GM) purchased Cadillac on this day in 1909 for $4.5 million in GM stock, Cadillac was already the top seller of luxury automobiles in the United States. The history of Cadillac begins with the failure of Henry Ford’s second attempt at starting a car company. When Detroit engineer and machinist Henry Leland was approached by Ford’s former investors to appraise their facility and equipment, he instead convinced the men to continue with their plans to build a car company. His idea was to use his own engine design and the investors' blueprints for what was to originally be the first car from the Henry Ford Company.  Above: 1903 CadillacTop: 1908 Cadillac Model S. By DougW at English Wikipedia Henry Leland You can still make history from behind a mask! Only $...
May 19, 1903 – Buick is Founded
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May 19, 1903 – Buick is Founded

On this day in 1903 the Buick Motor Company was founded by David Buick as a subdivision of Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company, which started business in 1899 manufacturing internal combustion engines. The Model B became the first Buick to go on sale to the public when it launched in 1904. It had a total annual production of 37 units. There are no known survivors of the 1904 vehicles, but there are two replicas that have original 1904 engines.  Above: 1972 Buick SkylarkTop: 1904 Buick Model B. Originally priced at $850 In that same year, William C. Durant became General Manager of Buick as a controlling investor. As a natural promoter, he moved Buick headquarters to Flint, Michigan and ended up making it the best selling automobile in America in its early years. Durant used the profits...
November 26, 1948 – The first Holden cars
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November 26, 1948 – The first Holden cars

A first generation Holden J. A. Holden & Co became a leading saddlery in South Australia soon after its founding in 1856. When the original owner’s grandson joined the company almost 50 years later, he added automotive upholstery repair to the company’s services. Following WWI, the formation of subsidiary Holden Motor Body Builders occurred, which began to produce car bodies in Adelaide, South Australia. The next decade would have HMBB manufacturing car bodies for Austin, Chrysler, DeSoto, Ford, Morris, Hillman, Humber, Hupmobile and Willys-Overland. Then, in 1931, General Motors bought the company.  When the Australian government began to encourage growth of the Australian auto industry, Holden executives made a compromise with GM to build a Chevrolet based, Australian car und...

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