When Was Chevrolet Founded and By Whom?

A 2020 Chevrolet Corvette driving on an open road

The car company Chevrolet, or as its often better known, simply “Chevy”, was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant on November 3, 1911. Chevrolet Motor Car Company, as it was officially named, set up shop that fateful fall day in Detroit, and the rest is history! Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss race car driver and an auto engineer. Durant, on the other hand, was the founder of General Motors and had been ousted during a financial crisis in 1911. Learn more about Chevrolet history here at Joe Basil Chevrolet near Buffalo.

When Was Chevrolet Founded?

Chevrolet was founded in the year 1911, which happens to be the same year that the first Indianapolis-500 race took place! It’s also the same time Orville Wright set a world record in air travel. Here’s a timeline of other notable early Chevy achievements:

  • 1918: Durant conducted a reverse merger between Chevy and GM to regain control over GM as president.
  • 1919: Durant was once again removed from his position as president of General Motors, and the new president, Alfred Sloan, chose the Chevy brand to be the volume leader within the GM family. It was then that the philosophy for Chevrolet became, “a car for every purse and every purpose,”
  • 1929: Chevrolet overtook Ford as the best selling car in the United States.

Where Was the Original Chevrolet Factory?

The first Chevy factory was set up in the town of Flint, Michigan, right at the intersection of Wilcox and Kearsley Streets, directly across from Kettering University. Today, this site is commemorated as “Chevy Commons” as a nod to the rich history of Chevrolet on the property.

What Was the First Chevrolet Model Produced?

The Chevrolet Series C Classic Six was the first Chevy ever to be made. It was designed by automotive designer Etienne Planche following along closely with blueprints from Louis Chevrolet himself. This model debuted at the 1913 New York Automotive Show.

What’s the Significance of the Chevy Logo?

The trademark Chevrolet bowtie logo was used for the first time in the year 1914 on the H Series Baby Grand and Royal Mail Chevy models, plus the Light Six L Series model. Called the Chevrolet bowtie emblem, the Chevy logo actually resembles an italicized plus sign. Where did the inspiration for such an artistic come from? While no one really knows for sure, here are some common theories:

  • Durant got the design from wallpaper he admired in a French hotel room.
  • It is a stylized version of the Swiss cross, honoring the heritage of Louis Chevrolet.
  • It was based on the logo of the Coalettes coal company.

Regardless of the true Chevy bowtie origins story, it has become solidified in American history as an icon and symbol for durability, innovation, and performance.

Experience New Chevy Models at Joe Basil Chevrolet

The credo “a car for every purse and every purpose” that Chevy used to use is just as true in 2020 as it was in the late 20th century. Whether you want a versatile SUV like the Equinox, a world-class sports car like the Corvette, or a rugged pickup like the Silverado, there’s a Chevy model out there for you! Contact us online here at Joe Basil Chevrolet to learn more about buying or leasing your next Chevy near Buffalo or Cheektowaga!

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