QUALITY AUTO PARTS FAST
RATED #1 BY CUSTOMERS LIKE YOU

Working Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Eastern.

Live Chat


Home >  Articles > General Motors

General Motors

Need GM Auto Parts?

When it comes to the history of the automotive industry, U.S and globally speaking, few names are as synonymous with it as General Motors (GM). Instantly recognizable, and highly influential, GM has been designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing automobiles under various brands for over a century, while also having been involved in many other industrial activities to boot over the course of its long, illustrious existence. General Motors is Americana pure and simple, and many of their vehicles have a special place in your, and our, hearts. GM has managed to survive the test of time, and the myriad of problems it has faced over the decades. While GM may just go on and last forever, parts won’t and they will eventually fail for one reason or another. Luckily for you, when it comes to GM auto parts, 1A Auto has you covered! It is our mission here at 1A Auto to supply you with the right parts you need to keep your GM car, truck, SUV, or van working in tip top shape, at a great discount.

We have a large selection of parts for these current GM automotive brands:

As well as parts for these former GM brands:

Simply put, if you are in need of a replacement part for your GM vehicle, whether it’s a car, truck, SUV, or van, you've come to the right place. You'll find a large selection of new, high quality aftermarket General Motors auto parts, including headlights, taillights, weatherstripping, mirrors, door handles, exhaust manifolds, window regulators, and more, as well as genuine OEM replacement parts - the very same ones you would receive if purchased from your local GM dealer, but without the inflated cost. However, we don't only just sell replacement GM parts online here at 1A Auto; we also carry a selection of new and performance parts such as high flow air filters and bike racks for your GM automobile as well.

Our product development team spends over 8,000 hours a year researching the best General Motors parts, and they are carefully selected by our trained engineers so you can rest assured that you are getting the correct, high quality part you need for your car, truck, van or SUV, at a discount price. If we wouldn't put the part in our own vehicles, we won't sell them to anyone else. A new aftermarket replacement GM part from 1A Auto will save you 30-50% on average over a comparable new OEM replacement GM part that you would get at a dealership, and our new aftermarket GM parts are also extremely durable and reliable. Don't overpay for parts for your General Motors vehicle and save yourself from a lot of potential headaches by shopping at 1A Auto.

You can shop for all of your GM car, truck, van and SUV parts online and buy safely and securely right here on our website, or you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about any of our parts, or to buy over the phone. With over 150 years combined experience, 1A Auto's customer service representatives are the most qualified to answer your questions about all of our new, aftermarket, genuine OEM, and performance General Motors parts. Our representatives answer 99.9% of phone calls in less than one minute and emails are responded to within the hour because we know you need answers quickly to get your beloved GM back in working order again. We also know you want your part fast for the same reason; 98% of in stock GM auto parts ship from our warehouse within one business day so that you can get back on the road in no time, and all ground shipping in the continental U.S. is completely free. And, in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your GM auto part for any reason, 1A Auto also offers the only No Hassle return policy for unused items in the industry. Simply put, our competitors can't beat the 1A Advantage. Don't just take it from us - take it from over 50,000 satisfied customers!

Look no further than 1A Auto for your aftermarket, original equipment (OE) replacement, new and performance GM auto parts and get your car, truck, van or SUV the new parts it needs today from GM enthusiasts just like you! Want to learn a little bit more about GM’s history? Then continue reading below!

Overview

Originally founded in Flint, Michigan in 1908 as a Holding Company for the Buick Motor Company, then controlled by William Durant, General Motors was on top of the automotive world for 77 years, having led all auto manufacturers in global vehicle sales from 1931 to 2007. The company would ultimately relinquish the crown and experience a tumultuous period littered with massive financial problems and a government backed Chapter 11 reorganization as a result. GM has since emerged from those rough waters and found its way once again; it was the world’s top selling automaker in 2011, which is quite remarkable considering where GM was just a few short years ago. Today, GM vehicles are manufactured and sold all over the world, and the company is currently one of the world's largest automakers in terms of vehicle sales.

Contents

1. Origin of General Motors
2. Initial Ouster of Durant, Chevy, and the Final Push Out
3. Achieving Global Dominance

Origin of General Motors

In the early 1900’s, Buick had become the largest automobile producer in the U.S. and the man behind that success was William Durant, who had been reluctant initially to get into the automobile business. Prior to getting into the automotive industry and taking control of Buick after some convincing, Durant had founded a highly successful company that manufactured horse-drawn vehicles. In 1907, a man named R.S. McLaughlin started the McLaughlin Motor Car Company, which was one of the first major automobile manufacturers in Canada, and eventually formed an alliance with Durant. The deal called for Durant to supply Buick motors for the cars, and McLaughlin would build the rest of the car, including the body, for the Canadian marketplace. The automobiles were produced first under the McLaughlin name, then McLaughlin-Buick, then back to McLaughlin, and finally back to Buick, which remains in Canada to this day. The pair entered into this partnership by exchanging an equal share of McLaughlin and Buick stock. Also around this time, Durant acquired a company by the name of Weston-Mott, ran by Charles Stewart Mott, and merged it with the Buick Motor Company.

Thanks to the success of Buick, Durant had gone from being the biggest producer of buggies to the biggest producer of automobiles. On top of it, with the help of these transactions and the profits from Buick’s success, Durant was able to finance the establishment of a new holding company in 1918, which would be named General Motors (GM). Buick was then folded into the newly organized General Motors Holding Company, adding equity, and was the only company to be owned by GM upon its inception. Mott, thusly, became the original U.S. partner in the founding of the General Motors Holding Company and would serve on the GM Board of Directors for decades until his death. In addition, at this point, McLaughlin exchanged his Buick stock for General Motors stock, becoming a major shareholder, and subsequently joined the board not long thereafter as well.

Buick’s loneliness in GM’s stable did not last long though as Durant embarked on a series of acquisitions of other vehicle manufacturers, using the proceeds he had earned by selling stock in his new company to fund the purchases. By 1910, he also had Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Oakland (which would be the basis for the formation of the Pontiac brand in the 1930’s), as well as the Reliance Motor Truck Company and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, which were eventually merged and became GMC.

Initial Ouster of Durant, Chevy, and the Final Push Out

By 1910 however, GM was struggling financially and stockholders blamed Durant for his aggressive expansionism which had brought with it a lot of debt. With the company financially overextended, GM’s board forced Durant out of his top management position and the company he founded, and banking interests assumed control of GM. Durant left the company but immediately went to work on his comeback, alongside and thanks to a few old colleagues who still believed in his leadership from his days at Buick and GM. He obtained a loan shortly after his ouster for a decent sum of money in order to help him in his endeavors, which was cosigned by R.S McLaughlin. Durant would also enter into a partnership with another former colleague from his Buick days, retired race driver Louis Chevrolet (starting Chevy’s association with racing early on), whom Durant had hired to drive Buick cars in promotional races years prior and had developed a good friendship with. Durant hoped to use Louis Chevrolet’s fame as a driver to bolster his third automotive endeavor. Durant’s deal with Chevrolet, who had ventured out on his own a few years back in hopes of building his own car, allowed for Chevrolet to work on car design at his shop while Durant went looking for more support. In addition, Durant, along with former Buick engine builder Arthur C. Mason, incorporated the Mason Motor Company, leasing space from the Flint Wagon Works plant located in Flint, Michigan. The new operation was to produce four-cylinder engines for the cars to be manufactured by Durant’s new, yet-to-be incorporated automobile company. Another former colleague that joined him in his new venture was William Little, who had been a general manager and plant supervisor for Buick. Durant envisioned building two brands of cars, and that second car was to be a four-cylinder car named after Little. Durant’s intention was for the Little brand to sell lower-priced cars and compete with the Ford Model T, which had begun to become quite popular. The first production Chevrolet was intended to be more of a larger luxury car.

Later that same year, Durant would go ahead and buy up the assets of the failing Flint Wagon Works, which included the entire plant and its property, goods, and equipment, in exchange for stock in his soon-to-be new company, which had still not been officially incorporated yet. The Flint Wagon Works was the company who had got Durant interested in Buick years prior. Flint Wagon Works was badly in debt at this point and so it was basically looking to liquidate its assets, settle the outstanding litigation against them, and pay off all of its debts, which included debt that was owed to its president and treasurer from a $1.2 million Little Motor Company stock issue for the Little Motor Company. Shortly afterwards, the Little Motor Car Company was incorporated in Flint and it took over the former FWW facility; it would eventually be merged with Chevrolet a few years later and the Little nameplate was dropped altogether. The Chevrolet Motor Car Company was then incorporated on November 3, 1911 in Michigan by Durant, Louis Chevrolet, William Little, and Edwin Campbell, who was William Durant's son-in-law.

After producing a few vehicles, a number of events occurred between 1915 and 1920 that shaped the future of both Chevy and GM. First, Durant, who had the intention to build Chevrolet’s in Canada himself, went back to his friend McLaughlin and offered him the opportunity instead, hoping to put Chevrolet in Canada that way. McLaughlin agreed and the Chevrolet Motor Company of Canada Limited was started, which produced cars that featured Chevy motors and McLaughlin bodies. Thanks to this and the success of its vehicles, especially the Chevrolet Series 490 which was released in 1915, Chevy had become extremely profitable, making Durant quite the wealthy man. This allowed Durant, who still owned some GM stock, to purchase even more shares in his former company and secretly plot his ascension back to the throne of the auto giant. In a last move to regain control, Durant engaged in a stock buy-back campaign with the McLaughlin and DuPont corporations (a large chemical company which, led by its president Pierre S. du Pont, had invested heavily in GM by purchasing stock beginning a few years prior), as well as other stockholders, offering a greater number of shares of Chevrolet stock in exchange for a lesser number of shares of GM stock in order to entice them. GM stock prices were high at the time, but market interest in Chevrolet was off the charts, making the trade very appealing to GM stockholders. Durant eventually was able to purchase enough shares to gain back a controlling interest in his former company, and thus regained ownership in a dramatic coup.

So, in reality, Chevy bought GM, not the other way around. Durant eventually reclaimed his old job and returned as the president of General Motors after the deal was completed, with the backing of du Pont, McLaughlin and others. As a result of the reverse merger, the General Motors Corporation was incorporated in Delaware and what was the General Motors Holding Company of New Jersey was dissolved (it has once again become the General Motors Company as a result of its bankruptcy and reorganization in 2009). Soon after the takeover was finalized, Chevrolet was also merged into the new GM, becoming a separate division. Also, Chevrolet Motor Company of Canada Limited and the McLaughlin Car Company were also sold to GM around this time with the condition that McLaughlin stay on and run the new company, and the merging of the two companies would form what is known today as General Motors of Canada Limited.

Durant put Pierre S. du Pont in charge of managing the new GM, and named McLaughlin Director and Vice-President; he also continued to run General Motors of Canada as well. McLaughlin retired in 1945, but remained on the board of GM for years to come, until passing away in the early 1970’s. Unfortunately, fluctuations in the economy were commonplace during this time and the automobile industry was failing. GM experienced another severe downturn in fortune and therefore, just a couple years after regaining control of the empire he founded, Durant finally lost his grip of GM to the majority GM shareholders such as du Pont and McLaughlin, and was pushed out of GM once again, this time for good. Pierre S. du Pont became president and agreed to pay off all of Durant’s debt in exchange for his leaving the company. Pierre would stay on as president until 1923 when he was replaced by Alfred Sloan, but various du Pont interests would hold large or controlling share holdings in GM until the 1950’s, when it was forced to divest itself of its shares thanks to the Clayton Antitrust Act.

Durant would go on to establish a new company called Durant Motors. The new automobile company had one brand initially but, just like he had done with GM, he acquired a range of companies and had a variety of marques targeting different markets. Unfortunately for him, Durant was unable to duplicate his former success, and the company failed by 1933 thanks to the Great Depression and other events that preceded it. By 1936, he was bankrupt and living off of a small pension provided by R.S McLaughlin, du Pont, etc. as arranged by Sloan on behalf of General Motors. Durant would die in 1947.

Achieving Global Dominance

GM would go on to experience unprecedented growth and lead all automakers in global sales for 77 consecutive years from 1931 through 2007, the longest streak of any automobile manufacturer in history. Sandwiched in between that period was World War II, where General Motors produced vast quantities of armaments, vehicles, and aircraft for the Allies. GM would go on to expand globally, setting up shop in numerous continents and countries, purchasing foreign-based brands like Opel, and selling its vehicles to the four corners of the world.

While GM would maintain its spot as the world’s top selling automaker throughout the 1960’s and into the 1980’s, it was plagued by controversy due to quality issues with some of its products upon release. Improvements were eventually made to the cars to address these problems, but it was too little too late as the negative press had already done its damage and improvements went unnoticed in the eyes of consumers. Profits of GM vehicles would struggle in the early 1980’s before recovering as the decade went on. In the 1990’s, the company would once again experience financial woes and the company saw some of its worst losses ever. This forced the reorganization of the companies’ management structure to dismantle the legacy structure of Alfred P. Sloan. Profits would rebound once again in the latter part of the decade, thanks to the popularity of its SUVs and pickup trucks. The company would gain tremendous market share and make enormous profits, lasting into the early part of the new millennium. GM also started and acquired numerous other automotive brands during this time, which they added to their already vast product portfolio. These included Saturn, Hummer, Daewoo, and Saab.

Unfortunately, the company experienced numerous problems in the 2000’s. During this decade, GM lost billions of dollars due to products that were unprofitable, excess production capacity, and the spiraling costs that came with pensions and health care for hundreds of thousands of retirees and relatives. A major recession occurred in 2008 and 2009, which resulted in the bottom falling out of the automotive industry, adding to the losses. Sales of automobiles plummeted and, during congressional hearings during that time, GM made it known that they could become insolvent very shortly without emergency funds from taxpayer dollars. The fate of GM was unknown for a time, the once great auto powerhouse brought to its knees.

Luckily for them, they were given a second chance when it was announced that there would be a government effort to save GM. The company was required to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a reorganization was put in place. The General Motors Corporation once again became the General Motors Company during this process of bankruptcy and reorganization however, many began to refer to the company as “Government Motors” at this point, signifying the government’s major investment (at its height, it had a 60% stake) in it in order to save it and keep it alive. The company also lost its title as the world’s top selling automaker in 2008, 2009, and 2010 amidst its multitude of financial problems. When it emerged, Cadillac, Buick, GMC and Chevrolet were still standing as GM's core North American brands. They also decided to keep Opel and Daewoo. Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn unfortunately did not make the cut and were phased out, joining Oldsmobile, which had been discontinued back in 2004 in a cost-cutting measure during the onset of GM’s financial woes, in the great scrap heap in the sky.

GM has since made a remarkable comeback from near extinction; it regained the title of the world’s top selling automaker in 2011, which is quite remarkable considering where GM was just a few short years ago. The government bailout of the company has ended as well as the Treasury Department has since sold its final shares of G.M. stock. Thus the company can continue its turnaround free of the label “Government Motors.” While there is still much work to be done, the company can now focus solely on winning back consumers and trying to reclaim its perch on top of the automotive mountain.

GM Auto Parts

U.S. Toll-Free Call Center   Hours
877-844-3393
Espanol: 866-401-3393