General Motors Corp, the world's biggest automobile
company, will celebrate the 100th anniversary
of the Buick model, among the few of GM's original brands,
this week. Thus, over 1,800 vintage Buicks will gather
in Flint Michigan for the centennial.
Buick has a chequered history. At the turn of the 20th
century, over a thousand companies tried to improve
on the horse-drawn carriage by building an automobile.
Nearly all of them failed.
Dunbar Buick was the founder of Buick Motor Division.
Buick started off by building gasoline engines in 1899,
and his engineer, Walter L Marr, built the first automobile,
which he named Buick between 1899 and 1900.
it was in 1903 that Buick began operations. That was
the year the company was incorporated and moved from
Detroit to Flint, a small town in Michigan, USA, known
as vehicle town.
recovered from near-bankruptcy in 1904 to become the
No 1 producer of automobiles in 1908, surpassing the
combined production of Ford and Cadillac, its closest
competitors and was the financial pillar on which General
Motors today the world's largest automaker
number of major contributors to US auto history first
headed towards Buick, an auto-building company
names such as Billy Durant, GM's founder, Charles W
Nash, a founder of what later became American Motors,
Walter P Chrysler, founder of Chrysler Corp, and Harlow
H Curtice, a GM president and chief executive in the
postwar era. Louis Chevrolet, co-founder with Durant
of the Chevrolet automobile, had earlier achieved fame
as a Buick race team driver.
Buick's most important achievement could be that it
started the concept of creating various cars for different
groups of people. Because of that GM survived, as different
parts of the company did well at different times.
Buick Motor Car Company moved to Flint, Michigan, William
Crapo Durant, a remarkable carriage-maker, took charge
and predicted that someday a million cars a year of
Buick would be in demand. Durant oversaw Buick's rise
to become the second-largest and most influential automobile
manufacturer in the country.
members of the fledgling GM company were Buick, Oldsmobile,
Cadillac, Oakland (now Pontiac), Ewing, Marquette, Welch,
Scripps-Booth, Sheridan, and Elmore, together with Rapid
and Reliance trucks. Another automotive division, Chevrolet,
became part of the corporation in 1918.
1920, more than 30 companies had been acquired by GM,
by purchase of all or part of their stock. Two were
forerunners of major GM subsidiaries the McLaughlin
Motor Company of Canada (which later became General
Motors of Canada Ltd) and the Fisher Body Company, in
which GM initially gained a 60-per cent interest.
The General Motors Company officially became General
Motors Corporation on 13 October 1916, when incorporation
papers were filed in Delaware. By 1 August 1917, the
new corporation had acquired all the stock of GM of
New Jersey, which was formally dissolved two days later.