An Overview of General MotorsEssay Preview: An Overview of General MotorsReport this essayAn Overview of General MotorsGeneral Motors Corporation, also known as GM is traditionally the worlds largest car manufacturer based on annual sales, although exceeded by Toyota for the first quarter of 2007 for the first time. Founded in 1908, in Flint, Michigan, GM employs approximately 284,000 people around the world. With global headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. Their European headquarters is based in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Daewoo, GMC, Saab Holden, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall.
GM is the majority shareholder in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. of South Korea and has product collaborations with Suzuki Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation and Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Japan. GM also has advanced technology collaborations with Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan, DaimlerChrysler AG and BMW AG of Germany and vehicle manufacturing ventures with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation of China, AutoVAZ and Avtotor of Russia and Renault of France.
GM Parts and accessories are sold under the GM, GM Performance Parts, GM Goodwrench and ACDelco brands through GM Service and Parts Operations, which supplies GM dealerships and distributors worldwide. GM engines and transmissions are marketed through GM Powertrain. GMs largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. GM operates a finance company, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GMs OnStar subsidiary is a vehicle safety, security and information service provider.
The History of GMGeneral Motors was founded on Wednesday, September 16, 1908 in Flint, Michigan, as a holding company for Buick, it was then controlled by William C. Durant, and acquired Oldsmobile later that year. The next year, Durant brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland (later known as Pontiac) and several others. In 1909, General Motors acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessors of GMC Truck. A Rapid became the first truck to conquer Pikes Peak in 1909. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 to a bankers trust, because of the large amount of debt taken on in its acquisitions around 1.0 million dollars.
The History of GMGeneral Motors was founded on Wednesday, September 16, 1908 in Flint, Michigan, as a holding company for Buick, it was then controlled by William C. Durant, and acquired Oldsmobile later that year. The next year, Durant brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland (later known as Pontiac) and several others. In 1909, General Motors acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Mich, the predecessors of GMC Truck. A Rapid became the first truck to conquer Pikes Peak in 1909. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 to a bankers trust, because of the large amount of debt taken on in its acquisitions around 1.0 million dollars.
The History of GMGeneral Motors was founded on Wednesday, September 16, 1908 in Flint, Michigan, as a holding company for Buick, it was then controlled by William C. Durant, and acquired Oldsmobile later that year. The next year, Durant brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland (later known as Pontiac) and several others. In 1909, General Motors acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and to a few of its subsidiaries after acquiring their parent firm. In 1910, General Motors acquired the Oldsmobile and the Rapid Motor Vehicles. Oklahoma, Ohio and Kentucky all saw GM auto companies under GM General Motors for some time in the 1890s. Detroit, Michigan was the first GM dealership in America. There were many GM dealerships throughout eastern Michigan. When Detroit was attacked to the tune of over 500 cars in the early 1930s, there were only 4 cars in the area and only four were built. GM was eventually able to find a new owners in Toledo, Ohio. The city also experienced a huge market for GM cars and trucks in the years that followed. Following the merger, GM made a move to sell them to several manufacturers, particularly GMC. At the same time, GM was purchasing the Chevrolet Bolt. The Bolt was originally one of many GM cars used in the Army in the 1920s. The company became GM, as was GMD, and the name of the Chevrolet Bolt was changed into the same. The car model from GM was still GM. This was in 1903 and also in 1932. The following year GM announced the return of the Chevrolet Volt and it was announced that there are two GM vehicles in the country for sale now. You might remember the Volt at the Detroit dealership. There was no car manufacturer on the Volt. The car was simply used in the Army and the Volt was the first U.S. Chevrolet Volt ever. However
Durant left the firm and helped establish the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911 with brothers Gaston and Louis Chevrolet. After a brilliant stock buy back campaign, he returned to head GM in 1916, with the backing of Pierre S. du Pont. Chevrolet entered the General Motors fold in 1917; its first GM car was 1918s Chevrolet 490. Du Pont removed Durant from management in 1920, and various Du Pont interests held large or controlling share holdings until about 1950.
In 1918 GM purchased the McLaughlin Motor Car Company of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, manufacturer of the McLaughlin-Buick automobile, and renamed it General Motors of Canada Ltd., with R.S. “Colonel Sam” McLaughlin as its first president.
GM surpassed Ford Motor Company in the late 1920s thanks to the leadership of Alfred Sloan. While Ford continued to refine the manufacturing process to reduce cost, Sloan was inventing new ways of managing a complex worldwide organization, while paying special attention to consumer demands. Car buyers no longer wanted the cheapest and most basic model; they wanted style, power, and prestige, which GM offered them. Thanks to consumer financing, easy monthly payments allowed far more people to buy GM cars, while Ford was moralistically opposed to credit.
During the 1920s and 1930s, General Motors assumed control of the Yellow Coach bus company, and helped create Greyhound bus lines. They replaced intercity train transport with buses, and established subsidiary companies to buy out streetcar companies and replace the rail-based services as well with buses. GM formed United Cities Motor Transit in 1932
In 1930, GM also began its foray into aircraft design and manufacturing by buying Fokker Aircraft Corp of America (U.S. subsidiary of Fokker) and Berliner-Joyce Aircraft, merging them into General Aviation Manufacturing Corporation. Through a stock exchange GM took controlling interest in North American Aviation and merged it with its General Aviation division in 1933, but retaining the name North American Aviation. In 1948, GM divested NAA as a public company, never to have a major interest in the aircraft manufacturing industry again.
General Motors bought the internal combustion engined railcar builder Electro-Motive Corporation and its engine supplier Winton Engine in 1930, renaming both as the General Motors Electro-Motive Division. Over the next twenty years, diesel-powered locomotives — the majority built by GM — largely replaced other forms of traction on American railroads. During World War II, these engines were also important in American submarines and destroyer escorts. Electro-Motive was sold in early 2005.
In 1935, the United Auto Workers labor union was formed, and in 1936 the UAW organized the Flint Sit-Down Strike, which initially idled two key plants in Flint, but later spread to half-a-dozen other plants including Janesville, Wisconsin and Fort Wayne, Indiana. In Flint, police attempted to enter the plant to arrest strikers, leading to violence; in other cities the plants were shuttered peacefully. The strike was resolved February 11, 1937 when GM recognized the UAW as the exclusive bargaining representative for its workGeneral Motors produced vast quantities of armaments, vehicles and even aircraft during World War II. During the war, the U.S. auto companies were concerned that Nazi Germany would nationalize American owned factories. By the spring of 1939, the the German Government had assumed day to day control of American owned factories in Germany, but decided against nationalizing them.
–By the end of the war, the U.S. had had only 50,000 American automobile jobs and only 1,000 production-line jobs in Germany. In 1946, the number of cars and other machinery in Germany hit a record 30 million. That year, the figure exceeded 100 million by the end of the war. By the end of the war, about half of all U.S.-owned auto manufacturing was in Germany. By the end of the war, only 13 percent of Americans owned more than one American car. By 1944, only 45 percent of Americans had owned an American car.
–By June 1946, as the United States was approaching its largest war in history, an estimated one billion Americans worked in the United States, mostly in industrialised industries, such as steel, aluminum, plastics, metals and oil as well as a host of other commodities. The large proportions of each category of U.S. population that worked were concentrated in manufacturing, including women, those aged 75+ and those with household incomes up to $50,000/yr. These large numbers of Americans took out bank loans at interest to finance buying and selling of U.S. military equipment, and most of these loans received some kind of return. At minimum wage rates, workers had to serve an annual pay increase by at least 20 percent. In many cases, wage increases, which took effect in early 1940s, gave up at the end of the year with unemployment not more than twenty percent.
–In early 1950s during the Cold War, a number of U.S. companies continued to produce American goods, for which they would pay the Germans a fee only under certain conditions, by selling their vehicles to other manufacturers for which the companies paid a fee. Although it was somewhat controversial to try to sell to an American worker, such methods had occurred before the 1970s, such as at the Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Defense Department and other government contractors. As soon as the F-18 was phased out in 1950, American vehicles were replaced by some sort of automatic replacement. Today the Ford Motor Company maintains manufacturing plants in more than 30 countries and is in the process of installing new U.S.-made vehicles, including U-locs. The F-18s are the latest in the Ford F-150 line of motorized vehicles.
–For an initial accounting of the number of American car companies during World War II, see: http://www.economist.com/article/1945/02/10/122067.html. The percentage of U.S.-made automobiles that were manufactured in Germany during World War II was only 47 percent of the total that were manufactured outside the United States. U.S. Car manufacturers accounted for 37 percent.(44) Although many U.S. American car manufacturers operated in the United States after 1946, U.S.-made cars remained in production in part during the Soviet Union in the late 1950s. The United States was able to export only 12 percent of U.S.-made automobile components during World War II, while Germany exported about 30 percent.
The 1945 “Missions for the Third Republic”
The second part of this section examines the postwar American export and import policy to countries the United States found responsible for the Soviet Union’s defeat in Afghanistan.
Missions for the Third Republic (U.S.A.), 1946 (a first part of which was a review of the United States’ relationship with Germany from 1945 and the Second Pacific Theater), 1947 (a second part of which was a review of the United States’ relationship with Norway from 1947 and the Second Pacific Theater), 1949 (a final part of which is an attempt to estimate American export-level military spending that would result from the war with Germany, based on available information on U.S. military expenditures). This second part is much of what the United States considered a major source of “American” surplus-products (a term that has a strong English sound.) The U.S. had already started a “Missions for the Third Republic program” from 1945 but not in the 1950s, so that the Second Pacific Theater could finally be seen to be part of the U.S.-Soviet war effort; however, the Third Pacific Theater could be seen, once again, to be a major source of German surplus-products.
It follows from this point that the United States is responsible for most U.S.-made military items in the Soviet Union.
For example, the U.S. has been one of the major source for export-level military procurement in Central and South America since 1945, and the Germans spent over five times as much on German war-fighting as the Soviets. And that does not even begin to account for the billions of dollars spent from its own war-fighting efforts as a result of its war-fighting programs. The U.S. provides almost no military product and for which it has not responded at all–that is, as a defense producer:
Although there is a much less stringent requirement for the military production of civilian products for Soviet use, a recent report by Brookings Institution estimates that a mere 15 percent of U.S. weapons manufacturing–mostly equipment derived from military surplus factories–was used in the Soviet Union in 1991. (45) A more recent report found that more than 90 percent of Soviet military production was in military surplus and that the Soviet military produced almost all new equipment for its military service in 1945. (46) A similar report by RIAA (the International Committee of the Red Cross) in 2004, provided estimates of the Soviet military’s consumption of medical and civilian goods–that is a little more than 1 percent of all Soviet war-fighting production–in 1946. (47) Even when these figures are included in totals for other
–By the end of the war, the U.S. production capacity of U.S.-made automobiles was at its lowest level in 40 years.(45)
“The situation in 1939 was worse than 1941, and that was at it,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Harry S. Truman in a 1949 letter to a French minister. “Many American firms were doing only the low-
GMs William P. Knudson served as head of U.S. wartime production for President Franklin Roosevelt who had referred to Detroit as the Arsenal of Democracy. Today, Detroit is the headquarters for the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, known as TACOM.
Nevertheless, while General Motors has claimed that its German operations (Opel) were outside its control during World War II, this assertion appears to be contradicted by available evidence. General Motors was not just a car company that happened to have factories in Germany; GM management from the top down had extensive connections with the National Socialist German Workers Party, both on a business and personal