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Chevrolet – The Early Years

Formation

The Chevrolet Motor Company was founded in Detroit, Michigan on November 3, 1911. The founders were William C. Durant and Louis Chevrolet, along with several investment partners. William C. Durant founded General Motors several years earlier, but was forced out in 1910. He wanted to create a company that could compete with General Motors. Louis Chevrolet was a famous Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer. The goal was that the famous name of Chevrolet combined with Durant’s business acumen would put the company in position to succeed.

First Production Vehicle

The ‘Series C Classic Six’ was the first car made by Chevrolet and one pre-production model was made early on. This model was fine tuned in 1912 and production began in 1913.

Reverse Merger with General Motors

Louis Chevrolet and Durant had differences on the company’s direction and in 1914, Louis Chevrolet sold his shares to Durant. Chevrolet became profitable quickly and Durant used these profits to buy shares of General Motors stock. Eventually Durant took control of General Motors and a reverse merger was made with General Motors on May 2, 1918 that had Durant in charge of the combined company. The Chevrolet brand continued to grow and be profitable even as Durant was forced out of the company in 1920.