General Motors in History

Historical Events

  • 1897-08-21 Oldsmobile first manufactured by Olds Motor Vehicle Co. in Lansing, Michigan
  • 1908-09-16 Carriage-maker, William C. Durant, founds General Motors in Flint, Michigan
  • 1918-05-02 General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
  • 1929-03-17 General Motors acquires German auto manufacturer Adam Opel
  • 1937-02-11 44-day sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint Mich ends
  • 1938-01-19 General Motors begins mass production of diesel engines
  • 1945-11-21 General Motors workers go on strike

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950-03-13 General Motors Corporation reports record net earnings of $656,434,232

President of General Motors Harlow Curtice
President of General Motors
Harlow Curtice
  • 1952-06-02 Maurice Olley of General Motors begins designing the Corvette
  • 1955-12-31 The General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over $1 billion USD in a year.
  • 1968-03-16 General Motors produces its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado
  • 1977-09-13 General Motors introduces 1st US diesel auto (Oldsmobile 88)
  • 1981-01-01 Roger Smith becomes CEO of General Motors
  • 1991-10-22 General Motors announces 9 month loss of $US2.2 billion
  • 1991-12-18 General Motors announces closing of 21 plants
  • 1992-11-17 Dateline NBC airs a demonstration show General Motors trucks, blowing up on impact, later revealed NBC rigged test
  • 1995-11-05 First NBA game at General Motors Place in Vancouver; Grizzlies beat Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-98 in OT
  • 1998-06-05 A strike begins at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants (the strike lasted seven weeks)
  • 2009-06-01 General Motors files for chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth largest United States bankruptcy in history.
  • 2012-07-30 General Motors (Chevrolet) sign a record breaking 7 year $559 million sponsorship deal with EPL club Manchester United
  • 2013-12-10 Mary Barra of General Motors becomes the first female CEO of a major automotive company
  • 2018-11-26 General Motors announces it will close five factories in North America, cutting 14,000 jobs
  • 2019-09-16 50,000 workers at General Motors go on strike in the US over pay and factory closings

Famous Birthdays

  • 1861-12-08 William C. Durant, American industry pioneer, founded General Motors, Frigidaire, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1947)
  • 1875-05-23 Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors (d. 1966)
  • 1890-07-18 Charles Erwin Wilson, American engineer (President and CEO of General Motors) and politician (United States Secretary of Defense 1953-57), born in Minerva, Ohio (d. 1961)

Person of interestHarlow Curtice

1893-08-15 Harlow Curtice, President of General Motors (1953-8), born in Petrieville, Michigan (d. 1962)

President of General Motors Harlow Curtice
President of General Motors
Harlow Curtice
  • 1925-07-12 Roger Smith, CEO (General Motors), born in Colombus, Ohio (d. 2007)
  • 1961-12-24 Mary Barra, American CEO of General Motors (1st woman to head a global automotive company), born in Waterford, Michigan

Famous Deaths

  • 1947-03-18 William C. Durant, American automobile pioneer (General Motors), dies at 85
  • 1961-09-26 Charles Erwin Wilson, American engineer (President and CEO of General Motors) and politician (United States Secretary of Defense 1953-57), dies at 71

Person of interestHarlow Curtice

1962-11-03 Harlow Curtice, President of General Motors (1953-8), dies at 69

President of General Motors Harlow Curtice
President of General Motors
Harlow Curtice
  • 2007-11-29 Roger Smith, American Chairman and CEO of General Motors), dies at 82