In Germany, Adam Opel's first
motorcar, the "Opel-Patent-Motorwagen System Lutzmann," is built.
The curved-dash Oldsmobile
becomes the first American car to be manufactured in quantity.
Cadillac Automobile Company
is organized in Detroit by Henry M. Leland, a precision
manufacturer of automotive components.
Buick Motor Company, founded
by David Dunbar Buick, is incorporated on May 19, 1903. Ground is
broken for the first Buick engine plant on September 11, 1903,
with funding from Flint Wagon Works, and operations are moved from
Detroit to Flint.
William Crapo ("Billy")
Durant of Durant-Dort Carriage Company, Flint, Michigan, takes
control of Buick Motor Company on November 1, 1904.
Cadillac produces the
Osceola, a single-cylinder favorite of Henry Leland and the first
step-in closed-car design. The body was built under the
supervision of Fred J. Fisher (who later founded Fisher Body with
his brothers) in the Wilson Body Company plant in Detroit.
Buick builds its first
production four-cylinder car, a 1907 Model D.
Henry M. Leland establishes
the Cadillac School of Applied Mechanics , the first school to
train machinists, technicians and toolmakers.
The Oakland Motor Car Co.,
predecessor to Pontiac Motor, is founded by Edward M. Murphy on
August 28, 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan.
Under Billy Durant's
leadership, General Motors Company is organized in 1908 (Sept 16),
incorporating the Buick Motor Company.
Oldsmobile becomes the second
company to join General Motors when Olds Motor Works is sold to GM
on Nov. 12, 1908.
Fisher Body Company is
incorporated on July 22, 1908, by Albert, Fred and Charles Fisher
and located in Detroit.
Cadillac wins the Dewar
trophy of the Royal Automobile Club in London for demonstrating
interchangeability of parts, a basic element in mass production.
General Motors purchases a
half interest in Oakland Motor Car Co. on January 20, 1909. When
its founder, Edward Murphy, passes away the following summer, his
company comes under the full control of General Motors. In 1932,
the Oakland name is dropped from the vehicle line and Pontiac
becomes the name of the division.
General Motors purchases
Cadillac for $5.5 million on July 29, 1909. Henry M. Leland and
his son, Wilfred, are invited to continue operating Cadillac. They
do so until 1917, when they leave to form Lincoln Motor Co.
AC Spark Plug joins GM. Known
as Champion Ignition Company in 1909, the name is changed to AC
Spark Plug Company in 1922 and made a division in 1933.
General Motors acquires the
Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessor
of GMC Truck, and Reliance Motor Truck Co. of Owosso, Michigan. A
Rapid becomes the first truck to conquer Pikes Peak in 1909.
Bankers turn down William
Durant's request for a loan to buy Ford Motor Co. for about $9.5