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Overview of the General Motors Company

            General Motors was founded by William C. Durant in 1908 as a holding company for Buick, located in Flint, Michigan. Later that year, he continued on to purchase Oldsmobile. In 1909, other automobile manufacturers would be purchased such as, Cadillac, Cartercar, Elmore, and Ewing (later known as Pontiac). Durant also made purchases to the Reliance Motor Truck Company located in Owosso, MI and the Rapid Vehicle Company of Pontiac, MI. Both of these companies would be the predecessors of the GMC Truck Company. All of these automobile and auto parts companies that were purchased by Durant, were all victimized from financial stress during the early 1900's, especially from a stock market scare from 1907. Durant realized this, which allowed him to take advantage of this companies. At this time, GM's competitor, the Ford Motor Company, was controlling 60% of the automobile market. Durant was poised to monopolize the automobile industry purchasing companies and formalizing them all under one unit. William Durant was a flamboyant businessman whose curious mix of genius and over-reaching took GM both to its heights as well as plunged it into financial distress. By 1910, GM already reached $1 million in debt. That same year, bankers were forced to step to prevent a financial collapse of GM after a $8 million deal fell through from trying to purchase the Ford Motor Company. This bank trust forced Durant to leave General Motors. However, Durant would eventually buy his way back into GM six years later. In 1911, William Durant and Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company. Along with this investment, Durant also made brilliant stock buyback campaigns with the McLaughlin and DuPont Corporations, along with his own company stockholders with Chevrolet. This campaign would allow Durant to regain control of GM in 1916 with the backing of Pierre S. du Pont. GM would later become incorporated, renaming the company to General Motors Corporation.

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