General Motors has been making vehicles for a long time, and the manufacturers of GMC and Buick have some pretty neat facts that have come out of all that history.
- General Motors was founded by William C. Durant in 1908. Durant was a highly esteemed carriage maker during his earlier years, and his Flint, Michigan, Durant-Dort Carriage Company was the biggest manufacturer of carriages in the United States; they worked to produce over 100,000 horse-drawn carriages per year. After the success of General Motors, Durant used his later years to pursue a new venture; the creation and building of bowling alleys across America. Durant believed that bowling was the best thing since sliced bread, and that every family in America should get to enjoy each others company while hanging out at the bowling alleys.
- In 2007, Chinese consumers bought more Buick brand vehicles than any other vehicles by foreign automakers. This success has led to GM being the top-selling foreign automaker in the country of China.
- GM helped to build the Lunar Roving Vehicle. The Rover successfully landed on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission, where the “Moon Buggy” was utilized to drive astronauts to different locations on the moon.
- GM was the largest commercial-to-military vehicle manufacturer during World War II. Leading the largest war production effort in all of American history, by 1942 GM had converted all of its factories into production bases to create $12 billion worth of trucks, airplanes, guns, tanks and shells for the United States Military. No other company has ever delivered as much support and material to allied forces.
- One of the most innovative vehicle brands in history, General Motors also helped to invent the first mechanic heart pump ever to be used on a patient. Dr. Dodrill and General Motors worked together to create the air pump which was to be used to temporarily replace the human heart’s blood-pumping function, which would make open heart surgery possible. Dr. Dodrill successfully used this invention on a human patient in 1952.
- You can also thank GM for the invention of: the first room air conditioner in 1929 (with contributions from Frigidaire), first fully automatic transmission in 1939 with the Hydra-Matic, GM was the first manufacturer to make turn signals standard equipment in all of its cars as of 1939, first anti-lock brake (ABS) system in 1972 and the first electronic fuel injection in 1979.
Source: Anthony Gurnee