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Chevrolet

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Companies > Manufacturers

Chevrolet, based out Michigan, is an iconic American car manufacturer and General Motors' most popular brand. Chevrolet was one of the main beneficiaries of the United States government’s auto industry bailouts.

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[edit] History

Chevrolet was incorporated in 1911 as a partnership between W.C. Durant, GM's former President[1], and race car driver Louis Chevrolet.[2] The two had differing ideas about the direction of their business. Chevrolet wanted his name to be associated only with luxury vehicles, while Durant saw an opportunity to compete with Henry Ford by selling affordable cars for the general population. The first Chevrolet vehicle was made in 1912, a luxury model called the Chevrolet Classic Six. The following year, while Louis Chevrolet was on vacation, Durant had a low cost model designed behind Chevrolet's back. When Chevrolet returned from his travels, he was offended, and sold off all of his shares of the company to Durant.[3]

Durant was forced from his position as president of General Motors due to a financial matter in 1910,[4] but six years later Durant regained control when he announced that Chevrolet owned a 54.5 percent stake of GM's outstanding shares.[5] In 1918, General Motors purchased Chevrolet, where it was established as a separate division. The same year, the first Chevrolet pickup truck was released.[6]

During the 1930's and 40's, Chevrolet was an early adopter of a number of important automotive innovations, including hydraulic brakes, the column shifter, and independent front suspension.[7]

In 1940, Chevrolet began to manufacture 3-inch (75-mm) shells for the war effort. During this time, Chevrolet ceased production of consumer vehicles. Chevrolet was one of the largest industrial suppliers for the war.[8]

Chevrolet’s best known vehicles were introduced in the decades following the war. The Chevrolet Corvette was released in 1953, followed by the Impala in 1958, and the Malibu in 1963. The 50’s were also an important time for innovation. In 1950, Chevrolet was the first company to offer an affordable car with automatic transmission. In 1955, they introduced the Chevy Small Block V8 engine for use in Chevy trucks.[9]—this engine proved immensely popular. It was adopted by all of General Motor’s brands, and remained in production until 2002.[10]

The 60’s and 70’s brought about greater foreign competition and increased gas prices. In response, all of the cars belonging to the GM family were made smaller to achieve greater fuel efficiency.[11]

In 1982, Chevrolet’s Motor Division, which produced trucks and vans, merged with the GM Assembly Division and the GMC Truck and Coach Division to form the GM Truck & Bus Manufacturing Division.[12]

[edit] The Company Today

Chevrolet still exists today as a General Motors brand. General Motors has been greatly affected by the global financial crisis. They have had to rely on government bailouts, totalling $50.4 billion, just to stay in business[13]. In 2009, GM announced they would be selling four of their brands (Hummer, Saab, Saturn, and Pontiac) but keeping their other four (Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC).[14] Chevrolet is GM’s most important brand. For the first half of 2009, GM held a 19.7 percent share of the United States auto market; of which Chevrolet was responsible for 12.3 percent.[15]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Chevrolet History Beginning. LoveToKnow.com [October 14, 2009].
  2. Chevrolet History. ConceptCarz.com [October 14, 2009].
  3. Chevrolet Motor Division. Automotive History Online [October 14, 2009].
  4. Chevrolet History, the beginning of Chevy Trucks & Cars. Chevy-Parts-For-Less.com [October 14, 2009].
  5. Chevrolet History. ConceptCarz.com [October 14, 2009].
  6. Chevrolet History Beginning. LoveToKnow.com [October 14, 2009].
  7. Chevrolet History Beginning. LoveToKnow.com [October 14, 2009].
  8. Chevrolet History Beginning. LoveToKnow.com [October 14, 2009].
  9. Chevrolet History. ConceptCarz.com [October 14, 2009].
  10. Chevy, Chevrolet History. JustGoodCars.com [October 14, 2009].
  11. Revolution. GM.com [October 14, 2009].
  12. Chevrolet History. ConceptCarz.com [October 14, 2009].
  13. Automotive Industry Financing Program. Propublica.org [October 14, 2009].
  14. GM sells Hummer brand. CBC.ca [October 14, 2009].
  15. GM's Turnaround Rides on a Successful Chevy. BusinessWeek.com [October 14, 2009].

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