General Motors is the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer based on worldwide sales and has been in the lead for the past 77 years. The company came into existence in 1908 and is an international corporation with its headquarters in the United States. Its 284,000 employees worldwide manufacture a multitude of different makes throughout 35 countries. The makes are Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Daewoo, GMC, Pontiac, Hummer, Opel, Holden, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. The company was first founded in Flint, Michigan in 1908 and is located today at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan.
One of the company’s most successful, popular and recognizable models is easily the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette has been in production since 1953 and continues to grow in popularity each and every year. The vehicle is manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky. There have been 10 different generations of the vehicle which include a variety of different body styles and features that come within the car.
General Motors has also played a major part in the auto racing industry. Their Oldsmobile Aurora was prominent in the Indy Racing League through the mid 1990s and the Chevrolet Impala has entered the NASCAR racing world as of late. Previous models that have been used in NASCAR are the Pontiac Grand Prix, the Buick Regal, the Oldsmobile Cutlass, the Chevrolet Lumina, the Chevrolet Malibu and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
General Motors currently manufactures five different Hybrid models beginning with the 2006 Saturn Vue Green Hybrid. In 2007 they released the Saturn Aura Green Hybrid. In 2008, General Motors released three different hybrid models. They were the GMC Yukon Hybrid, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid and the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. According to the Automotive News, General Motors sold 843 hybrids of all types in the first quarter of 2008. That number is by and far the lowest of the manufacturing companies that have developed Hybrid models.
General Motors has discontinued manufacturing of a number of brands over the past couple of decades. They are: the Acadian, the Asuna, the Beaumont, Bedford Vehicles, the Elmore, the Envoy (in Canada), Geo, LaSalle, Marquette, Oakland, Oldsmobile, Rapid Truck, Reliance Truck, the Statesman (in Australia) and the Viking. Some subsidiaries of General Motors are AC Delco and OnStar.
In 2007, employees of General Motors went on strike for the first time since 1970. A handful of assembly plants were also closed in Canada, along with the closures of the plants in the United States. The strike lasted for a little less than two days before the company and the United Auto Workers Union came to an agreement on a contract. Workers were back on the job almost immediately. The new contract pays out the Union members more money in healthcare costs for retirees with the money coming from the UAW by 2010.
General Motors has been a staple of the American and worldwide auto industry for over 100 years but has endured some economic problems over the past few fiscal years. In 2007, the company lost 38 billion dollars from their bottom line.