Chevrolet was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant in 1910, with the bow-tie logo designed in 1913. In 1916, Durant had acquired the majority of GM shares, a company from which he had been ousted in 1910 when he had overextended himself. GM purchased Chevrolet in 1918. The company grew in the 1920s, with the first European GM vehicle, a Chevrolet truck, produced in 1924, and outsold the market leader, the Ford Model T, the same decade. The 1929 ‘Cast Iron Wonder’ sold over one million units in its first year.
In 1931, Chevrolet overtook Ford for three years. Chevrolet débuted an eight-passenger Suburban model in 1935 and launched a new style, the station wagon, in 1939. It pioneered automatics in low-priced cars in 1950 with a two-speed, and in 1953 launched its iconic Corvette sports car. The 1960s saw growth in Chevrolet lines but also trouble with its Corvair rear-engined car—the first production car with a turbocharger—which had been the target of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who claimed that the vehicle range was unsafe.
The 1970s were tougher for Chevrolet, as it was for all US automakers, though it did field the fuel-efficient Chevette, a development of the Opel Kadett C from a sister GM division. In the 2000s, it is trying to recapture its innovative spirit with the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car set for the 2010 model year.
The Chevrolet brand, while still bearing an American image, today adorns cars from all over the world, including Korea (Daewoo products are often badged Chevrolet for export), Brazil and Australia.
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