General motors (gm): brands, models, logo – everything about the u.s. Automotive group

The headquarters of General Motors (GM), photographed in Detroit on January 13, 2009

General motors is a u.s. car manufacturer with headquarters in detroit. The group’s best-known brands include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

  • General motors (GM) is a US-American automobile corporation
  • GM includes the brands chevrolet, buick, GMC and cadillac
  • The brand opel no longer part of the GM group since 2017

Detroit- general motors (GM) is the largest car manufacturer the u.s. and is also one of the industry giants worldwide. The company experienced a profound change with the insolvency in 2009- since then, the carmaker’s official name has been general motors company (GMC). Among the best known brands from general motors today include chevrolet, buick, GMC and cadillac. The company is currently headed by mary T. Barra (68, CEO) and mark reuss (president). the company’s headquarters is detroit in the u.s. state michigan – there, the employees of the head office work in the architecturally extraordinarily designed renaissance center (also called GM renaissance center or rencen), which consists of seven interconnected skyscrapers. A hotel, shopping mall, restaurants and banks are also located in the huge complex.

In australia general motors also maintains the brand holden. In china two additional brands are operated under the GM flag through joint ventures: baojun and wuling.

The birth of general motors: in 1908, william C. Durant the company

Founded general motors 1908 by william C. Durant (85†1947). in the same year general motors took over the brands buick and oldsmobile, only a few years later came, among others cadillac, oakland (later pontiac) and chevrolet added.

A black Cadillac 62 Sedan

In addition, general motors acquired the company yellow coach and helped to create the long distance bus lines from greyhound build. To bolster its own business, the company established general motors subsidiaries, which bought up companies that were streetcars produced. The streetcars were then replaced by buses replaced.

models of the brands from general motors from the year 1974 were the first, in which a airbag was optionally available for order. In vehicles from oldsmobile, buick and cadillac let the system with name „air cushion restraint system (ACRS) can be ordered at extra cost. economically, however, the early airbag system from general motors was not a success, which is why the ACRS was taken off the market as early as 1976.

"unsafe at any speed": general motors and the chevrolet corvair fiasco

In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, there was controversy in every decade over a particular model or elementary component of vehicles of the brands from general motors, which had dire consequences.

The first prominent fiasco was the chevrolet corvair, which came on the market in 1959. Initially, the car was very popular with customers- however, the vehicle’s idiosyncratic handling gave it a reputation for being anything but safe.

PR disaster with the oldsmobile brand: general motors and the rocket v8 engine story

The brand that was launched in the 1970s and the very special- a very successful general-motors brand in the u.s. in the 1980s oldsmobile. Many customers appreciated the quality and reliability of the rocket V8 engine.

because oldsmobile was in high demand for the rocket V8 engine the production was not able to keep up anymore, they started- without this big to announce- some oldsmobile models with a V8 engine from chevrolet to equip. However, many oldsmobile customers only discovered during maintenance that a different engine had been installed and that the parts they had bought did not fit. The result was a class action, which was used for general motors developed into a PR disaster.

the brand oldsmobile was finally discontinued in 2004. But the traditional US brand is by no means the only brand from the general motors empire that no longer exists today. Also pontiac, geo, saturn and hummer were discontinued over the years – which also once belonged to the general motors brands belonging to saab, opel and vauxhall were sold.

Today, general motors offers only four brands in the USA:

These are the main models of the brands:

brand models
chevrolet spark, malibu, bolt, corvette, camaro, tahoe, suburban, silverado
buick encore, regal, envision, enclave
GMC canyon, sierra, terrain, acadia, yukon, savana
cadillac XT4, XT5, XT6, escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6, CTS

models of these brands are on the road in germany only in manageable numbers. most of the types from the general motors group are largely unknown in our country, if you ignore chevrolets sports models camaro and corvette as well as cadillacs mega SUV escalade apart from that.

GMC has in principle only large suvs and pick-up trucks on offer.

General motors on tv: the "A-team" goes on a crime spree in the GMC vandura starting in 1983

fans of the 80-years television series "A-team" (1983-1987) might recognize the brand GMC however, be a household name. for the protagonists john "hannibal" smith, B.A. Baracus, H. M. Murdock and templeton "faceman" peck served a souped-up GMC van of the type vandura as a standard vehicle. What for magnum its ferrari 308 GTS and for michael knight his (heavily modified) pontiac firebird trans am was the ideal choice for the A-team the GMC vandura.

It must not have been easy for the series manufacturers to find a "cool" car to find a dangerous vehicle for a team of four heroes who were also constantly on the run. The four former soldiers are portrayed in the TV series namely hunted by the military police- because of a crime committed during the vietnam war, but of course not at all. Nevertheless, the quartet mostly simple people threatened by criminals- and often plays GMC vandura of a leading role. The black was steered GMC vandura with red rims, red roof spoiler and the red stripe on the side and the front was usually driven by B.A. Baracus. the GMC vendura as an A-team transporter certainly belongs in the league of the most famous movie cars.

An economic thriller takes its course: general motors and the spanish "cost killer" jose ignacio lopez

One of the biggest economic crises in the history of the automotive industry is also associated with the company general motors connected: the so-called Lopez affair. The Spanish manager jose ignacio Lopez (80) had a stellar career with the u.s. automaker in the 1980s. His specialty was to drive suppliers to push the cost of components to the extreme in order to achieve immense savings for his employer.

The spanish turned the cost screw so vehemently that in the end the quality of the parts supplied was often severely compromised- This phenomenon was later called the „Lopez effect. As a "warrior and "cost killer the spanish was called in the car industry- and he was feared.

In 1987 rose jose ignacio lopez at the then GM subsidiary opel as head of the production and purchasing department. Just one year later, he was appointed chief buyer for general motors europe promoted. The next career step followed in 1992 as jose ignacio Lopez was appointed executive vice president for global purchasing at general motors.

A case for the public prosecutor’s office: allegedly boxes of files from GM and opel go to volkswagen

The real scandal broke when jose ignacio lopez to volkswagen changed. The head of volkswagen at the time ferdinand piech (82, †2019) had managed to poach the spanishman along with some of his closest associates. At his new workplace, the spanishman lived up to his reputation – and quickly earned the nickname "the strangler of wolfsburg.

Allegedly, however, not only did some GM employees and jose ignacio Lopez the employer, but with them boxes of files containing information on the purchase prices of components of opel– and GM models. general motors suspected of betraying company and trade secrets as well as industrial espionage. Over the course of several years, the Darmstadt-based public prosecutor’s office. The investigation was finally dropped.

But even before a court in detroit submitted general motors lawsuit there, however, due to the RICO-act for betrayal of secrets and criminal conspiracy. At the end there was a settlement: ferdinand piech had to jose ignacio Lopez urged to resign, moreover, the volkswagen pay 100 million u.s. dollars in damages to GM. In addition, wolfsburg was obliged to buy components from general motors for one billion u.s. dollars.

severe crisis: despite restructuring measures, general motors has to file for insolvency in 2009

From the second half of the 2000s onwards, the general motors into a heavy crisis. Due to extremely high gasoline prices, sales of heavy and gas-guzzling vehicles such as pick-up trucks, suvs and vans plummeted. The 2007 financial crisis the situation became visibly worse because potential car buyers were hardly able to obtain credit.

General motors saw himself to drastic reorganization measures forced: various brands were buried or sold, tens of thousands of jobs were cut. But despite all the efforts, the carmaker continued to operate billion-dollar losses a. Finally, at the end of March 2009, under pressure from the U.S. government, the then head of GM rick wagoner resign with immediate effect. On 1. In June 2009, general motors insolvency to.

In the context of a emergency nationalization üthe u.s. and canada took over a large proportion of the shares. By december 2013, GM had been re-privatized through the sale of government-owned shares. The government bailout ended up costing taxpayers about 12 billion U.S. dollars.

"ignition switch debacle": 2014 general motors has to recall millions of vehicles

Just a few years after the insolvency had to general motors suffered another bitter setback: due to defective ignition switches, the U.S. carmaker was forced to recall around 2.6 million vehicles at the beginning of 2014. The reason: During the ride, the airbags jumped ignition locks occasionally in the off position, causing the engine and electronics to shut down. As a result, the steering, braking and airbags their function.

Due to the so-called „ignition lock debacle" there were numerous accidents- people also lost their lives in the process. 2015, general motors announced its intention to pay compensation for around 80 fatal and 148 non-fatal accidents caused by defective ignition switches.

General motors and opel: for decades, the russelsheim subsidiary celebrated great successes – then the decline began

The german carmaker opel übernahm general motors as early as 1929 for the most part: wilhelm von opel (77†1948) and its brother friedrich opel (63†1938) initially sold 80 percent to the U.S. automaker- by 1931, general motors then took over opel completely.

A bizarre situation then arose during the second world war: general motors supplied both warring parties. In the U.S., general motors’ u.s. subsidiary was truck supplied, in the german reich the wehrmacht was supplied by the GM subsidiary opel equipped with vehicles. Among other things, opel produced the most important truck for the wehrmacht: the lightning "S (STANDARD.).

experienced after the second world war opel in germany – especially in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s- golden times, then began the slow descent from the olympus of german carmakers. There were quality problems, sales declined.

When, at the end of the 2000s, the parent company general motors fell into a severe economic crisis and finally had to file for insolvency, opel was on the verge of being sold- the takeover by the automotive supplier magna international seemed to be in the clear by 2009. But in the end, the sale was halted. Opel remained a subsidiary of the U.S. company general motors.

The separation: general motors sells its opel subsidiary to the french PSA group

A little less than a decade later, the split did occur: in 2017, the French groupe PSA acquired the adam opel aG and the british sister brand vauxhall motors for around 1.3 billion euros.

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Christina Cherry
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