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January 20, 1909 – GM buys into Oakland Motor Car Company, later becomes Pontiac
This Day

January 20, 1909 – GM buys into Oakland Motor Car Company, later becomes Pontiac

After just one year of production, Oakland Motor Car Company principal founder Edward Murphy sold half the company to General Motors on this day in 1909. General Motors had been founded just four months prior, and already had a stake in Buick and Oldsmobile. When Murphy died the following summer, GM founder William Durant made sure his new company acquired the rest of Oakland's stock. Oakland became GM's entry level car, where it competed with the Ford Model T. Sales were modest for the Oakland division, but the introduction of a V8 in 1916 pushed sales to about 35,000 for the year. When GM acquired Chevrolet in 1917, a company also co-founded by Durant, Oakland moved up a slot on the price ladder. Though it sat above Chevy, GM had a long list of makes to place above it. In the ea...

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