General Motors is a US multinational car manufacturer headquartered in Detroit. GM manufactures cars and trucks in thirty-five countries and was the largest automobile manufacturer from 1931 to 2007. GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under various brands in 2008. The company reached the milestone of 10 million sales in 2016. The current brands under the GM banner include Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, and Cadillac, while previous brands are Daewoo, Oakland, Oldsmobile, and Vauxhall. The company shed several brands in 2009, including Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn and emerged from a Chapter 11 reorganization.
The most popular brands under GM are Chevrolet and GMC, both known for producing incredible pickups. While GM has faced numerous financial troubles, it's produced some of the best US vehicles available in North America. In 2018, the Chevrolet brand reemerged in Australia after a 50-year absence by launching the Camaro and Silverado pickups. The Chevrolet brand relaunched in Europe in 2005, mainly selling vehicles that GM Daewoo of South Korea made. The GMC brand primarily focuses on selling pickups and commercial trucks, buses, vans, and military vehicles as well as sport utility vehicles. Buick's main market is in China, where 80% of the brand's vehicles are sold. Although numerous drivers around the world own one or several cars that GM produces, most are unfamiliar with the history of its cars. We compiled a list of twenty-five facts about GM cars that most people don't know.
24 Louis-Joseph Chevrolet Never Owned The Company
Louis-Joseph Chevrolet was a famous Swiss car racing driver who co-founded the Chevrolet company in Detroit with William C. Durant, a famous industrialist and founder of General Motors.
Although Chevrolet co-founded the company, he was never its director.
Durant suggested to Chevrolet that he leave racing to produce his vehicle. Chevrolet built the car with the help from GM specialists. Durant funded the project, while Chevrolet named the vehicle, according to My Drift Fun. The brand was established in 1911 and proved to be successful.
23 Cadillac's First Hybrid Was The Escalade
As consumers have become conscious of the environment, car manufacturers have had to re-strategize. Although you may not associate hybrid models with the Cadillac brand, it decided to enter the hybrid market in 2009. To ensure it retained the SUV market share, Cadillac made a hybrid model of its popular Escalade. The hybrid model lost 20 horsepower compared to the standard model but had a combined fuel consumption of 20 mpg. Cadillac discontinued the model in 2013.
22 The 2018 GMC Terrain Has Cloud-Based User Profiles
Although cloud-based profiles aren't a new feature in cars, GMC has taken it a step further in the new Terrain. The eight-inch touchscreen in the vehicle allows you to create a profile that's stored in the cloud, making it accessible in other GM vehicles equipped with this technology.
If one of your family members has a car with this technology, logging into your profile recalls your vehicle and entertainment settings.
Phones aren't the only technology that enables cloud settings as the Terrain has proven.
21 The Hummer H1 Was Prone To Breakdowns
The Hummer H1 isn't the best option you can choose when buying a vehicle. General Motors originally designed the Hummer for military use. After a successful production run, Hummer decided to produce a civilian version—a big mistake. The Hummer H1 was impractical, as it barely fit into one lane, and finding parking was a nightmare. If the impracticality wasn't bad enough, the car was also unreliable. Did we mention that the car sucked gas like a vacuum?
20 GMC And Chevrolet Share Many Similarities
Considering that GMC and Chevrolet share the same parent, it shouldn't surprise you that the two brands share some similarities.
The two brands are so much alike that enthusiasts of the brands have stated that the two cars have shared features since the '20s and that the only differences on the vehicles are the grille and nameplates.
Since 2014, Chevrolet and GMC have been the only automakers to provide light, mid-size, and heavy-duty pickups. Check the emblem to ensure you don't buy the GMC instead of the Chevrolet.
19 Buick Showroom Models Never Turned To Lightweight Aluminum
In the United States, Buick isn't as popular as the Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile brands. Although Buick may not match the sales of those brands, it's different, as its showroom models never turned to lightweight aluminum, a strategy of boosting power-to-weight numbers in the muscle car era. Every Buick performance model shared its steel body panels with lesser non-performance variants. Buick made the Skylark GS340 and 400 of rugged die-cast metal. Delivering quality vehicles has always been important to Buick.
18 GMC Terrain Has a Type-C USB Port
SUV lovers should take a look at the 2018 GMC Terrain. The car is equipped with several key features that separate it from the pack. Most cars and SUVs have the standard Type-A port, but the Terrain has an additional Type-C USB port.
Unlike the Type-A port, the Type-C allows you to connect your smartphone to charge the device and use the multimedia system's standard connectivity.
Apple Macbooks use the Type-C port to charge the battery, meaning, you don't need an adaptor to charge the laptop in the Terrain.
17 Chevrolet's Emblem Is A Bow Tie
If you wondered what the Chevrolet emblem symbolizes, the answer is a bow tie. The emblem appeared in 1914, and the idea originated from wallpapers at a Paris hotel where Durant stayed. Durant's daughter mentioned that her father used to draw different versions of the emblem, one being the bow tie. Durant's wife claims that her husband borrowed the idea from an advertisement for a coal company. Whatever the motivation for the emblem, it remains a bow tie.
16 The LaCrosse Is The Fastest Buick
Car pundits wouldn't associate the Buick brand with muscle cars. Most of the vehicles that Buick produces are semi-luxury sedans marketed for the middle class. If you insist on buying a Buick car that provides performance, then you should have a squiz at the LaCrosse.
Buick fanatics should explore the Supermodel, as the vehicle fosters a 5.3-liter V8 engine that's capable of spurting out 300 horsepower.
The improvement to the engine allowed the LaCross to reach a top speed of 156 mph.
15 The First Corvette Logo Was Illegal
Deciding on a logo is one of the most troublesome aspects that car manufacturers have to endure. The logo represents the brand and is one of the first features that prospective buyers see. When Chevrolet was deciding on the logo for the Corvette, it wanted to incorporate a checkered flag with the US flag. Chevrolet realized that it wasn't allowed to trademark the US flag without changing it into an interpretation. The bow tie and the checkered flags make a nice duo.
14 The GMC Canyon Is Highly Fuel Efficient
Driving a pickup truck allows you to experience the road the way other road users can only imagine. Pickup drivers are elevated higher than sedans and can haul heavy loads. While using the Canyon to perform numerous duties, drivers also take pleasure in knowing that they're saving money while driving the pickup.
The US Car News website announced that the GMC Canyon was number one in the Fuel Efficient Truck category.
The automobile watchdog also praised the car's top-notch interior.
13 Chevrolet's Sport Roadster Was Released In 1932
The magic year for Chevrolet's Sports car was 1932. That year, the US manufacturer released the Chevrolet Sport Roadster that cost $455. If only that were the price of the vehicle today... Chevrolet ensured that it offered something special to the market by fitting the vehicle with a design that looked like the luxury GM Cadillac and also adding some automotive equipment. The release of the Sport Roadster in 1932 helped the brand to gain recognition, as it became the brand of the year in the United States.
12 The Chevy Impala Was The Last Car With A Front Bench Seat
Chevrolet should be proud of the Impala. Not only has the brand survived for more than half a century, but the car also provided lots of space as well as performance if properly equipped. The 1994 to 1996 Impala SS models provided impressive performance, considering the car is a full-size sedan. Chevrolet produced the Impala Limited until 2016, making the vehicle the only car equipped with a front bench seat. That interior layout allowed the seating of six passengers.
11 The First Corvettes Were Too Advanced For The Factory
With the advent of new inventions comes great responsibility. Or is it an unprepared workforce? Corvette had the first fiberglass body that GM mass-produced. Considering that the technology was new and workers were inadequately equipped to perform the tasks, delays in delivering the vehicles occurred.
One of the biggest challenges the factory team faced was grounding the vehicle.
The first few vehicles that they made wouldn't start. Instead of driving the vehicles off the assembly line, the engineers had to push the cars.
10 The Chevy Suburban Is The Longest-Lasting Nameplate
Several car manufacturers have been successful in producing a specific brand over decades. Cars such as the Volkswagen Beetle, the Honda Civic, and the Toyota Camry have stood the test of time and proven their reliability and durability. Although those brands have been around for many years, none can compete with the Chevy Suburban.
Not only does the Suburban date back to the '30s, but Chevrolet also hasn't deviated too far from the original design in the latest models.
Consumers who want a reliable brand should look to the Chevy Suburban.
9 Buick Sells Well In China
Most of the current brands under GM have been successful. The only GM brand that's struggled in the North American market is Buick. The brand produced many subpar luxury cars before the millennium and needed restructuring to produce high-quality vehicles. Although unsuccessful in the US, Buick is a bestseller in China. CNN reported that Buick sold only 212,000 units in the US in 2016 while selling 1.1 million vehicles in China. GM sells around 30,000 units of the Envision and the Excelle monthly in China.
8 The First Chevrolet Sports Car Was Released In 1948
After the war, Chevrolet returned to the production of its pre-war models. Chevrolet produced its first sports car in 1948. The name of the vehicle was "48 Spilemaster Sinks." The car represented the company's factory team at the Indianapolis 500.
The Chevrolet factory team won the La Caracas, a famous rally that spans from Buenos-Aires, Argentina to Caracas.
Chevrolet was a formidable opponent in the competition. Beginning in 1948, the future looked bright for Chevrolet sports cars, according to My Drift Fun.
7 GMC Canyon Maintains 55% Of Resale Value
Besides providing good fuel economy, the Canyon also has good resale value. The Canyon took fifth place, while the Sierra took the sixth spot for cars that depreciate the least after five years. Some of the Canyons can maintain 57% of its resale value. Consumers who are considering buying a pickup should view the Canyon as the obvious choice. The car will save them gas money and will yield a good return on investment when the time arrives to sell the vehicle. Could the Canyon be a strong competitor for the F-series?
6 Buick Offered A Gran Sport Model
When you mention the brand Buick, most car enthusiasts picture a regular sedan. One of the facts about Buick that most people don't know is that it offered a full-size Gran Sport model. The US manufacturer produced the vehicle in 1966 and called it the "Wildcat GS." The car was huge, as it fostered a standard 340-horsepower engine with chromed air-cleaner housing.
The Wildcat GS was 220 inches long and had a 126-inch wheelbase.
The car was one foot longer than the Skylark GS, according to Muscle Car DIY.
5 The Cadillac Series 75 Is The Longest Car Produced
The North American market is obsessed with driving big vehicles. One of the reasons that the Hummer was so popular was its massive frame. If you go back to the '70s, you'll discover that US car manufacturers' main strategy was to build big vehicles. Cadillac used the large Deville as the base design to produce the Series 75 limousine. Standard limousines are stretched cars, whereas the Series 75 was a luxury car with extended wheelbases. The Series 75 was 236 inches in length.
4 The Chevy V8 Was Most Successful In The US
If you go back into Chevrolet's history, you'll discover that the year 1955 was one of the most important years in Chevrolet's existence. During the year, Chevrolet came up with the historically significant small-block engine, the Chevy V8.
At the time, the company hadn't known the success that would follow.
The Chevy V8 engine turned out to be the most successful one in Chevrolet's history. With a dual-exhaust manifold, the engine was capable of spurting out between 162 and 180 horsepower—a great accomplishment for that era.
3 The Buick Skylark Violated Corporate Laws
When Buick built the Skylark GS400 in 1965 and 1966, it was in direct violation of the corporate ban of installing 400-plus cubic-inch engines into intermediate platforms. The reason for the violation is that the GS400 4.19 delivered 401 cubic inches. Nobody at the Buick corporation was too concerned about the one-inch violation and continued with the rollout of the vehicles. Buick redesigned the V8 engine in 1967, resulting in the displacement totaling 400 cubes.
2 The Army Uses The Chevy Silverado
Not only does General Motors make civilian vehicles, but it also caters to the military.
Chevrolet is the brand that assists the military by producing the Light Service Support Vehicle (LSSV).
The US manufacturer used the Silverado as the base for the design of the vehicle, stemming from the '80s design called the "Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle." Presently, the LSSV is available as a pickup, and the military mostly uses it as a support vehicle alongside the Humvee. The LSSV is available in single- and crew-cab layouts.
1 The '55 Chevy Is One Of The Most Successful Cars In History
It seems that 1955 was one of the best years in the US manufacturer's history. Not only did Chevrolet produce the V8 engine, which would gain legendary status, but the company also produced the 1955 Chevrolet, commonly referred to as the '55 Chevy. The car became one of the most successful and influential models in the US's history. The event proved to be a huge turning point for the manufacturer and paved the way for the success of its other models. The car achieved sales records.