Chevrolet: One of The Great American Car Brands

By Phin Upham

American cars have a uniquely American swagger about them, and it’s common for people to debate over which ones are the best ones. Among those hardcore fans, there are always two major houses that stand the tallest. Ford and Chevrolet. Both have a long standing history in the automotive world, and both are still driving forces in the industry today.

The company many of us refer to as “Chevy” began in 1911. It was started as a division of General Motors, another important name in American automotive manufacturing. Louis Chevrolet started the company with William C. Durant, and the two were so successful that Durant purchased General Motors in 1918 in a reverse merger. This was important because Durant was reclaiming his spot in GM’s corporate history as its president.

His tenure lasted only a year before he was ousted a second time in favor of a man named Alfred Sloan. Sloan chose Chevrolet as his flagship brand, and he decided to compete directly with Henry Ford by manufacturing mainstream cars meant for the every man. At the time, Ford’s Model-T was the best-selling car in the United States and Chevy intended on beating that.

Whether they did or did not is a question best left up to auto enthusiasts, but it’s clear both companies were wildly successful. Today, GM cars are marketed and sold all over the world. One can buy a Chevrolet in Europe, thanks to a recent re-launch of the brand in 2005, and you can even find Chevys in Russia.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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