At the time Oldsmobile closed its doors in 2004 it was the oldest surviving American car brand at 107 years old. It was a fate that was first announced on this day in the year 2000 when General Motors (GM) stated its plans to phase out Oldsmobile, a brand that had ultimately been successful until the mid 1990s.
First founded in 1897 as the Olds Motor Vehicle Company by Ransom E. Olds in Lansing, Michigan, the company became the first high output manufacturer of gas-powered automobiles, producing 4,000 units in 1903, a time when other automakers averaged just 1,272. This feat was in part made possible following the introduction of the first automotive assembly line where workers churned out the Olds Curved Dash.
GM cited profitability as its reasoning for shutting down Oldsmobile, but it took four years for the phase out to be completed following the initial announcement. On April 29, 2004 the last Oldsmobile, an Alero GLS sedan, rolled out of the factory after it was signed by all of the assembly line workers who helped put it together.