On November 3, 1911, Louis Chevrolet founded the Chevrolet Car Company with William C. Durant, William Little, and Dr. Edwin R. Campbell. Durant and Chevrolet were business partners in the venture, while Little and Campbell were investors. Durant, who was a former employee of General Motors, had left the company in 1910.

The famous Chevrolet logo was first used in 1913, and a variety of stories exist about the origins of its initial design. One story claims that Chevrolet designed the emblem based on a Swiss cross as a tribute to his parents’ homeland.Chevrolet Logo

Source:(C) GM Corp.

However the partnership between Chevrolet and Durant was soon to fail. As often happens, Chevrolet and Durant argued over the design of different products, Chevrolet wanted to build high quality cars, while Durant wanted to build products that were the “for the people” and in 1915, Louis Chevrolet sold his share of the company to his partner, Durant. Durant went on to turn Chevrolet into a profitable company. In 1916, Durant bought controlling interest in General Motors and by 1917, became president of GM.

Fast forward through the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s, and Chevrolet was a company that continued to compete with Ford and Plymouth. The three companies were known as producers of low price vehicles. Through the 1950’s and 60’s Chevrolet continued its growth and started to have a bigger impact on the American automobile market, especially after the launch of the Chevrolet Corvette in 1953. Chevrolet also built famous models such as the Corvair(1960), and the Impala(1958), however, these vehicles just scratch the surface of all that Chevrolet has accomplished in the last 100 years.

Chevrolet’s influence on America has impacted popular culture in songs such as “Little Red Corvette” by Prince, “American Pie” by Don McLean, “409” by The Beach Boys, and the commercial jingle “See the USA in Your Chevrolet.” However, Chevrolet’s influence on pop culture goes beyond music. The hit 2007 movie Transformers featured a long list of vehicles from General Motors, with the iconic Bumble Bee as a Yellow Chevrolet Camaro. The Chevrolet logo and the family of Chevrolet vehicles have been featured on a number of television shows and hit movies. Many of these pop culture references feature iconic Chevrolet vehicles such as the Camaro and the Chevrolet Corvette.

However, the success that Chevrolet and General Motors experienced did not come easily or quickly. Though it was the world’s leading automobile corporation during the last century, its problems have grown with its size. Most recently Chevrolet and General Motors chose to take steps to reorganize in order to survive as a company. A bailout and bankruptcy later, Chevrolet and General Motors are in better standing today than they were in 2008.

Chevrolet as a brand did not compete with just itself; its rivalry with Ford accounted for some of each company’s success. The Chevrolet Corvette, built in 1953, was pushed to innovate and update by the 1955 Ford Thunderbird. The Chevrolet and Ford competition can be seen in many other rival vehicles, including the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, the Ford Explorer and the Chevrolet Trailblazer, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, the Chevrolet Malibu and the Ford Fusion, and the yearly battle for the sales crown between the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado.

When Chevrolet’s 100th birthday occurred on November 3, 2011, Chevrolet and General Motors both looked a lot better at 100 than at 97, 98, or 99. In 2011, Chevrolet is producing new models featuring cutting edge technology, fuel efficiency, and aesthetically pleasing exteriors and interiors. Chevrolet vehicles today have made strides and now Chevrolet offers a vehicle for nearly every consumer. The new Chevrolet Camaro gives consumers who had the original model a feeling of yesteryear, while the Chevrolet Malibu gives drivers a fuel-efficient four-door vehicle that is the perfect choice for a college graduate’s first new car. The Chevrolet Equinox through the Chevrolet Suburban gives consumers who want a larger vehicle a wide range of choices depending on the size they need. The Chevrolet Silverado offers consumers a chance to drive a vehicle that has held true to its “Like a Rock” image.Silverado Image

Source: (C) GM Corp.

However, the cutting edge technology of Chevrolet is best seen in the Chevrolet Volt.Chevrolet Volt Image

SOurce:(C) GM Corp.

The turnaround of innovation at Chevrolet can be identified by its plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt. Though the Chevrolet Volt has had issues with production and stocking dealers with units to sell, the product has created the needed buzz in Chevrolet dealerships, and consumers are heading to their local store to get a glimpse of the electric vehicle. The Chevrolet Volt won a number of awards in 2011, including the North American Car of the Year announced at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Chevrolet has just turned 100, and consumers are excited about what they can expect next. The Chevrolet Volt will be the image that leads Chevrolet into the next century. Chevrolet will continue to offer vehicles that are brought to production from the same designers and engineers who created the Chevrolet Volt, as well as models for the automotive enthusiasts with a variety of offerings from the Chevrolet Camaro to the Chevrolet Corvette. As Chevrolet and General Motors prepare for the next 100 years, consumers and Chevrolet enthusiasts can look forward to great things to come.

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