When Was Chevrolet Founded and By Whom?

A 2020 Chevrolet Corvette driving on an open road

A Brief History of Chevrolet

When was Chevrolet founded? Any new Chevrolet vehicle is the continuation of a long legacy of American excellence. On November 3, 1911, the Chevrolet Motor Car Company was founded by racecar driver Louis Chevrolet and GM founder William C. Durant. For curious Buffalo drivers, Joe Basil Chevrolet has a guide to the history of Chevrolet below!

When Was Chevrolet Founded?

1911 was a banner year in technological innovation. It was this year that Orville Wright set a world record in flight, the Indy 500 race was inaugurated, and that Durant and Chevrolet founded their company. Durant had recently been ousted by GM, so he teamed up with Louis Chevrolet to start a company that, to this day, is known for quality materials and great performance. Here are some other dates of note:

  • 1918: Durant gets GM to reverse merger with Chevrolet and regains his GM presidency.
  • 1919: Alfred Sloan becomes the new GM president and spearheads the Chevy mission of “one car for every purse and every purpose.” Chevy becomes the highest-volume car produced by GM.
  • 1929: Besides, “When was Chevrolet founded?”, you should know this important year — it’s the one when Chevy overtook Ford as the best-selling American car.

Chevy Firsts: Factories and Models

  • The first Chevrolet factory was built in Flint, Michigan. The site, located across from Kettering University, at the corner of Wilcox and Kearsley, is known as the “Chevy Commons”.
  • The first Chevy model, designed by Etienee Planche after plans drawn by Louis Chevrolet, was the Series C Classic Six. It made its debut in 1913, at the New York Auto Show.

About the Chevy Logo

Whether it’s on a now-classic truck like the Silverado or an innovative new electric vehicle like the Chevy Bolt, the Chevy logo is recognizable anywhere in Cheektowaga or Lancaster. There’s a history behind the logo:

  • The logo was first used in 1914 on the Royal Mail and Light Six L Series models.
  • Origins of the Chevy Logo: There’s actually some debate about this! One story suggests that William Durant was inspired by the wallpaper in a French hotel room. Another theory has the logo coming from the Coalettes coal company. A third theory suggests that it’s modeled after the Swiss cross, in homage to Louis Chevrolet.

Test Drive Chevy Vehicles at Joe Basil Chevrolet

At Joe Basil Chevrolet, we’re happy to be a part of a long legacy of excellence in car manufacturing. Whether you’re getting a new or used Chevy vehicle in the Depew area, we’re the place to be! Please feel free to contact us and we’ll set you up with your next dream car.


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