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A History Of The Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors

General Motors was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company. After a dispute between Henry Ford and his investors, Ford left the company along with several of his key partners in March 1902.

Ford’s financial backer William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen, called in engineer Henry M. Leland of Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Company to appraise the plant and equipment in preparation for a liquidation of the company’s assets. Instead of offering an appraisal, Leland persuaded Murphy and Bowen to continue manufacturing automobiles using Leland’s proven single-cylinder engine.

A new company called the Cadillac Automobile Company was established on 22 August 1902. The company was named after French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701. General Motors purchased the company in 1909. Cadillac had laid the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles by demonstrating the complete interchangeability of its precision parts while simultaneously establishing itself as one of America’s premier luxury cars.

Cadillac introduced technological advances, including full electrical systems, the clutchless manual transmission and the steel roof.

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