General Motors Corp
GM was founded on September 27, 1908 in Flint, Michigan and was originally a holding company for Buick which came under the control of William C. Durant. GM acquired Oldsmobile later that year and in bought Cadillac, Elmore, and Oakland (Pontiac) and several others a year later. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 due to a banker’s trust from the large amount of debt accumulated in purchasing the auto companies. He regained control after a proxy war, but soon lost control after the new vehicle market collapsed. Alfred Sloan gained took charge of the corporation and GM would continue to grow until the early 1980’s.
The auto crisis of 2008 hit GM along with Chrysler and they received loans from the American, Canadian, and Ontario governments to avoid bankruptcy. They plan to phase out the Pontiac brand by 2010 just as they had done with Oldsmobile earlier in the decade. General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 1, 2009 and was the fourth largest in U.S. history as ranked by total assets. After the period of bankruptcy, GM plans to re-emerge as a smaller company
The History of General Motors in Detroit
GM released the revolutionary ‘Impact’ electric car in 1990 which was the fist with zero emissions marketed in the US over three decades. The car eventually became the EV1 in 1996, but stopped being produced in 2003. The company has recently led the industry with ethanol burning fuel vehicles that can run on either ethanol or gasoline. GM also developed kerosene powered vehicles but abandoned the idea after the 1973 oil crisis.
The hybrid electric initiative has pushed GM to design a line of vehicles with electric capabilities. They have been at the forefront of hybrid development and implement technologies that will be optimized for higher speeds in freeway driving. GM explains that not all of the EV1 vehicles were destroyed, but many were donated to museums or to the GM research department. The electric car is projected by experts to be a necessity in the future. The EV1 may still have its place in automotive development.
Post bankruptcy, GM plans to focus on Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC and selling its other brands. The aim will be a greener company and break even with annual sales of 10 million cars. Obama believes that GM can lead America towards an energy independent future.
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