1911: The Stage is Set for a Major American Automobile

November 3, 1911

The Chevrolet Motor Car Company was jointly established in Detroit by racecar driver Louis Chevrolet and recently ousted General Motors founder William C. Durant. Their investment partners included William C. Little and Durant’s son-in-law Dr. Edwin R. Campbell. 

With a total of 2,999 Chevrolet automobiles manufactured in the following year, this motor vehicle eventually earned widespread acclaim for its comfort, precision, and style. (The above photo features a 1912 Chevrolet model on display at the Alfred P. Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan.)

Durant bought out Louis Chevrolet’s interest in the company in 1915. The following year, Durant bought a controlling interest in General Motors. He was subsequently back at the helm as that company’s president, with Chevrolet merged in as a separate division. 

Chevrolet continued to grow in public esteem, becoming the volume leader among General Motors’ various brands and even eventually outselling the automobiles produced by the rival Ford Motor Company. Chevrolet has also staked a considerable claim in the mainstream culture throughout the decades, thanks to such memorable songs as See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet, which was extensively performed during the 1950s and 1960s and further popularized by entertainer Dinah Shore; and Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & Chevrolet, which became part of the brand’s marketing campaign in 1975. 

Photo Credit: Trainguy1 (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

Additional information on the history of General Motors’ automobiles is available at https://www.gm.com/heritage?evar25=gmhc_redirect

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