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Oldsmobile

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One of the United States’ automotive pioneers, Ransom Eli Olds founded his company in 1897. The name Oldsmobile—a contraction of Olds Automobile—emerged colloquially. GM purchased Olds in 1908. In 1937, Oldsmobile offered a four-speed semi-automatic transmission, a first in the industry, with a truly automatic transmission in 1940. Oldsmobile offered the first turbocharged production engine in 1962 and a front-wheel-drive model in 1966, the Toronado. Its Cutlass model in the 1970s was one of the world’s top sellers. However, its position as GM’s premium brand (above Chevrolet and Pontiac, and roughly equally pegged with Buick) began to be unclear by the 1990s, and despite advanced new models such as the Aurora, Oldsmobile sales were not that strong as the new century began. In December 2000, GM announced the brand would be phased out, with the last car coming off the line in 2004. At the time of its demise, it was the longest-running car brand in North America.





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