105 years ago in automotive history: General Motors buys Chevrolet

Chevrolet was founded in Detroit in 1911

First Smallcomb Motor Company dealership in Livermore, California was established in 1919. Glen O. Smallcomb (extreme right) poses with employees and a 1919 Chevrolet Touring (Image Courtesy of General Motors Archive)

On May 2, 1918, the automotive world would change in a huge way.

It was on this day that General Motors, which eventually became the world's largest automaker, acquired Chevrolet Motor Company.

William C. "Billy" Durant, the founder of General Motors, also founded Chevrolet in Detroit in 1911, which he named after his partner and race car driver, Louis Chevrolet.

Durant, still holder of GM stock, began to purchase more shares in the company as his profits from Chevrolet allowed. In a final move to regain control, Durant offered GM shareholders five shares of Chevrolet stock for every one share of GM stock.

Antique Chevrolet Tow Truck (1920)

The five-for-one trade proved to be an irresistible deal and on May 2, 1918, Chevrolet joined Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland in General Motors' fold.

By 1919, Chevrolet's main factory was located in Flint, Michigan, with several other assembly locations in New York, Ohio, Texas and California. GMC commercial grade trucks were also rebranded to Chevrolet.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.