A multinational corporation with a net worth exceeding many nations at one time.
Chuck Thomas - CleanMPG
- May 31, 2009
1908 - William C Durant founded General Motors in Flint, Michigan.
1911 - Electric self-starter first appears on a Cadillac on 1912 model.
1919 - GM creates captive finance arm, GMAC.
1920 - Durant resigns, later files personal bankruptcy and dies running bowling alleys.
1921 - GM accounts for 12% of U.S. car market.
1922 - GM allegedly works with Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack to help National City Lines eliminate electric streetcars
1925 - GM buys Vaxhall Motors in England.
1929 - GM buys 80 percent stake in European Adam Opel AG. Documents would later reveal GM's role in arming the Third Reich
may have exceeded Ford's during World War II
1930 - Bought Electro-Motive Corporation - sold locomotive division in 2005.
1937 - After a bitter strike, GM recognizes the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the bargaining representative for its hourly workers.
1941 - GM market share grows to 41%. Air conditioning first offered in Cadillacs.
1948 - First automobile fins unveiled, on a Cadillac. First V8 engines introduced on Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs.
1949 - After purchase of National City Lines of Los Angeles, GM accused of buying streetcar companies since 1920s and replacing them with bus systems. GM is convicted just once, of conspiracy in the Los Angeles case.
1954 - GM's U.S. market share reaches 54%. Company makes 50 millionth car.
1956 - Sloan retires as chairman.
1959 - GM responds to European imports like the VW with the Corvair.
1962 - GM has 51% of US market.
1969 - GM drops the Corvair after sales were lost to the Mustang and Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed
1971 - GM buys 34.2% of Isuzu Motors Ltd. GM raises stake to 49% in 1998 and later sells it.
1971- GM tries to introduce an economy car again - The Vega. It's aluminum engine burns less gas, more oil.
"This program produced a hostile relationship between the corporate staffs, which essentially designed and engineered the car, and Chevrolet Division which was to sell it.. A study of the conception and gestation of the Vega reveals not a lesson in scientific marketing and development, but rather a classic case of management ineptitude. In the early and mid 60's, Chevrolet and Pontiac Divisions were working separately on futuristic small cars. Ed Cole, who was executive vice-president of Operating Staffs, was working on his own small-car project using the corporate engineering and design staffs. He took the program with him into the president's office in 1967. When the corporation started talking seriously about a mini-car, Cole's version was chosen..The proposals from Chevy and Pontiac were rejected. The new mini-car was Cole's baby and was given to Chevrolet to sell. Not only did corporate management make the decision to enter the mini-car market, it also decided to develop the car itself. It was a corporate car, not a divisional one. Cole was the chief engineer and Bill Mitchell, the vice-president of the Design Staff, was the chief stylist. It was being put together by people at least one step from the marketplace. There was no system of checks and balances." - John DeLorean.
1976 - GM's only home-grown subcompact - the Chevette was introduced. Good car, good sales, but not exceptional to the offerings of Toyota, Honda, and Datsun (Nissan). Jermey Clarkston's video he shoots up the Prius was meant for the Chevette - appeals on no levels whatsoever except price. The only real GM subcompact died in 1987.
1977 - Vega discontinued.
1978 - Global production for GM peaks at 9.6 million vehicles.
1979 - GM's U.S. employment peaks at 618,365, making it the largest private employer in the country. Worldwide employment is 853,000. Decade features sales decline, recession, Arab oil embargo and gains by Japanese automakers.
1980 - Roger B. Smith named chairman. GM loses more than $750 million as car and truck sales plunge 26%.
1980 - GM has 46% of the US market.
1980 - Rear-wheel drive cars replaced with X-Cars (Citation, Olds Omega, Pontiac Phoenix). Where were the Q/A staff? Poor suspension and brakes, transmissions that would fail at 30,000 and possibly the most recalls in GM history. Laid to rest in 1985.
1981 - Gas peaks at $1.38 a gallon. Not until 2008 in adjusted dollars will US gas cost more.
1981 - GM buys about 5 percent of Suzuki Motor Corp. It raises the stake to 20% in 2000 and later sells all but 3%.
1981 - GM and Toyota Motor Corp form a joint venture, known as NUMMI, to build cars in Fremont, California.
1981 - GM consolidates truck, bus and van operations. Auto workers bash Japanese cars with sledge hammers. Company earns $333.4 million on $62.7 billion in revenue.
1982 - The Oldsmobile diesel was introduced and dropped two or three years later. The basic problem was the Olds 350 V8 was not sufficiently reengineered for diesel operation.
1982 - GM introduced a Chevy Cavalier impersonating a Cadillac - the Cimarron. Finally pulled in 1988 as it was no competition to BMW.
1984 - GM buys Electronic Data Systems.
1985 - Company forms new Saturn Corp. subsidiary. GM acquires Hughes Aircraft
Co. for $5 billion. GM makes $4 billion. US market share is 41%...it will never break 40% again.
1986 - GM acquires British sports car maker Lotus. It sold Lotus in 1993.
1987 - GM and UAW reach contract prohibiting closure of a plant unless its product sales fall. Earnings fall to $3.6 billion.
1988 - Earnings rise to $4.6 billion and revenue hits $123.6 billion. Employment drops to 766,000 - GM market share: 36%.
1989 - GM adds airbags and sticker price.
1989 - Roger and Me.
1990 - GM has 35% of the US market.
1990 - GM buys a 50-percent stake in Sweden's Saab and purchases the remaining half a decade later.
1990 - GM launches Saturn.
1992 - Jack Smith ousted as GM CEO after crossing with the stockholders...his successors will be under pressure to produce results for this quarter - not five years down the road.
1994 - Sells nearly 5 million vehicles in the US - market share 33%.
1996 - "Now that's just saaad...." - GM sells EDS.
1996 - GM leases the EV1 in California and Arizona.
1997 - GM market share: 31% - Toyota: 8%. Prius is introduced in Japan.
1998 - A 56-day strike at GM's Flint stamping operations shuts all of GM's North American assembly plants. Now UAW is profitable on truck and SUV production only.
1999 - GM buys 20 percent of Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. GM later sells all of the stake.
1999 - GM buys AM General (Hummer), introduces the Cadillac Escalade, starts production in China.
1999 - EV1 "Impact" production discontinued. Honda Insight introduced as America's first hybrid, quickly followed by the Prius - motivated by fear of the EV1.
1999 - GM spins off parts maker Delphi Corp. Delphi's U.S. operations enter Chapter 11 reorganization in 2005, where they remain.
2000 - President Rick Wagoner replaces Smith as CEO. GM cuts 10% of white-collar employment. Stock is $94.62 a share - their all-time high.
2000 - GM decides to kill the Oldsmobile brand.
2000 - GM buys 20 pct of Italy's automaker Fiat for $2.4 bln in GM stock. The deal includes a "put" option that gives Fiat SpA the right to force GM to buy the remainder of the Italian automaker.
2001 - Robert Lutz joins GM.
2002 - GM signs deal to buy most of Daewoo Motor Co.
2002 - For the first time in US history, trucks and SUVs outsell cars.
2002 - 90% of GM's profit is pickups and SUVs and over half their sales....decided to focus on them without a contingency plan in late 2008. Market share is 28.6%.
2003 - GM pulls the EV1 and crushes most of them.
2003 - Globally, Toyota replaces Ford as #2. Toyota opens plants in Texas and Alabama.
2003 - The H2 is introduced and is a hit to the antisocial market.
2003 - GM sells defense unit to General Dynamics Corp. for $1.1 billion and sells 20 percent stake in Hughes Electronics to News Corp. for $3.1 billion.
2004 - The end of Oldsmobile.
2004 - Last year GM made a profit and first year gas prices broke $2 a gallon.
2005 - GM pays $2 billion to Fiat to cancel "put" option under its deal and buy its way out of the alliance.
2005 - H3 is introduced....a small Hummer and a smaller market share (26%).
2006 - "Rick Wagoner is without question the right man to lead GM and continue the turnaround, Read my lips. Rick Wagoner will preside over a turnaround at General Motors." - Bob Lutz
2006 - "Build more Hummers" - Bob Lutz
2006 - Ford mortgaged all their assets and avoided TARP. All the Big Three was using zero percent financing during this period.
2007 - GM signs deal with the UAW, which includes shifting GM's retiree health care liabilities to an independent trust.
2007 - GM loses $38.7B - worst ever for any automaker.
June 2008 - GM puts Hummer brand on review, ahead of a possible sale.
July 2008 - GM announces plans to cut costs by $10 billion and raise $5 billion through borrowing and asset sales.
Sept 2008 - GM and Chrysler holds talks to combine companies. GM sets aside talks in November to focus on preserving cash.
Nov 2008 - GM warns its liquidity will fall short of the minimum needed to run its business by the first half of 2009.
Dec 2, 2008 - GM seeks U.S. government aid of up to $18 billion.
Dec 19, 2008 - GM and Chrysler granted $17.4 billion in government loans.
Jan 21, 2009 - Toyota Motor Corp surpasses GM as the world's largest automaker for the first time. GM now has about 21% of the US market and 244,500 employees worldwide - 80,000 in the US.
Feb 5, 2009 - GM announces plan to slash its global salaried workforce by about 10,000, or 14 percent, and cut the pay of most remaining white collar U.S. workers.
Feb 17, 2009 - GM raises U.S. funding request to a total of $30 billion, announces plans to cut global workforce by 47,000 and close five U.S. plants by 2012.
Feb 26, 2009 - GM posts 2008 loss of $30.9 billion.
March 5, 2009 - GM's auditors raise "substantial doubt" about its ability to survive outside bankruptcy.
March 30, 2009 - GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner ousted by U.S. government,
replaced by Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson. About half of GM's board would also be replaced. Company given 60 days to develop new restructuring plan.
April 17, 2009 - GM says readying detailed plans for bankruptcy filing as it races to complete a business plan under federal oversight.
April 22, 2009 - GM says unlikely to make a $1 billion debt payment due June 1.
April 27, 2009 - GM offers final plan to reorganize outside bankruptcy by slashing bond debt, cutting over 21,000 more U.S. jobs and emerging as a nationalized automaker. GM warns it would file for bankruptcy if an offer to exchange bonds for company equity failed to cut $27 billion in debt by about 90%.
May 5, 2009 - GM details plans to all but wipe out the holdings of remaining hareholders by issuing up to 60 billion new shares in a bid to pay off debt to the U.S. government, bondholders and the UAW.
May 7, 2009 - GM posts a first-quarter net loss of $6 billion and a cash burn of $10.2 billion.
May 15, 2009 - GM announces plans to drop 1,100 of its smaller, less-profitable dealerships.
May 21, 2009 - GM announces a new cost-saving labor agreement with the UAW, under which UAW-aligned healthcare trust will receive half of the $20 billion debt GM owes the fund in the form of stock and new debt, instead of cash.
May 22, 2009 - GM borrows another $4 billion from the U.S. Treasury and reaches deal with Canadian auto workers.
May 27, 2009 - GM's offer to exchange $27 billion in bond debt for a 10% stake in a reorganized company fails.
May 28, 2009 - GM and the U.S. Treasury make new equity exchange offer under which bondholders would be offered 10 percent of a reorganized company and given warrants to purchase another 15 percent. Stock would close later that week at 74 cents a share.
June 1, 2009 - GM reported to declare bankruptcy 8am in NYC - President Obama to address the situation at 11:30 from the White House. Will be the fourth largest US bankruptcy in history and largest by a manufacturer.
Dec, 2009? - GM expected to have 15% of the US market. May be overtaken in US sales by Toyota and Ford.
Fall 2010 - Introduction of the Chevy Volt with a 40-mile electric range, extended by 1-liter gas engine generator... [Read More]