On this day in auto history – April 21st

Wed 21st Apr 2021

It was on this day in 1967 that General Motors (GM) made the staggering announcement that it had manufactured its 100 millionth American-made car, just 12 years after producing its 50th million!

Originally founded as a holding company by horse-drawn carriage mogul William Durant in 1908, GM quickly assumed large stockholdings in Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Pontiac alongside Durant co-founding Chevrolet which officially became part of GM in 1918.

GM had already overtaken Ford as the world’s biggest automaker by the 1930’s and by 1962 was producing over 50 per cent of all the cars in the US.

The 100th million car announcement - which came fully 10 years ahead of its principal rival Ford - proved something of a high watermark for the GM. It started to lose its fierce stranglehold on the market in the face of global competition during the 1970’s, beginning a slow process of decline which saw it finally lose its title of the world’s top-selling automaker to Toyota in 2008 and file for bankruptcy protection the following year.