GM is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers and marketers in the world with operations on six continents.
September 16, 1908 - General Motors Company is founded under the leadership of William Durant. The new company brings together several car companies, including Buick. Olds Motor Works (Oldsmobile) is bought by GM later in 1908.
1908 - General Motors acquires the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, a truck company. It later evolves into GMC.
1909 - GM acquires Cadillac Motor and Oakland Motor Car Company (later renamed Pontiac).
1910 - When the company has financial difficulties, Durant is ousted.
1911 - Durant co-founds Chevrolet Motor Company.
1915 - Durant becomes GM's largest shareholder.
1916 - Durant returns as president of GM.
1918 - Chevrolet becomes a division of GM.
GM joins the war effort during World War I
, retooling 90% of the GMC truck production line for military use. More than 8,500 trucks are sold to the U.S. Army for use in the war.
1920 - With GM on the verge of bankruptcy, Durant retires as president. He starts another car company, Durant Motors, but loses his fortune in the 1929 stock market crash. Durant lives until 1947, surviving on a pension from GM.
1923-1956 - Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. serves as president and later chief executive of GM.
1925 - General Motors expands internationally by purchasing Vauxhall Motors, a British company.
GM takes a majority stake in German car maker Adam Opel AG. During World War II
, the German government nationalizes Opel, but GM regains control after the war ends.
1936-1937 - A drawn-out strike at GM plants leads the company to sign its first agreement with the United Auto Workers labor union.
1942-1945 - GM produces vehicles and weapons for use by the U.S. military during World War II.
1954 - General Motors accounts for 54% of the auto market in the United States, up from 12% in 1921.
Activist Ralph Nader
publishes "Unsafe at Any Speed" with a section critical of the Chevrolet Corvair. GM hires detectives to investigate Nader. Later GM's president is forced to publicly apologize and pay Nader $425,000 to settle a lawsuit.
1980 - GM reports a net loss of more than $700 million, its first unprofitable year since 1921.
1980-1990 - GM's share of the U.S. market falls from 45% to 35%.
GM purchases Electronic Data Systems Corporation, started by H. Ross Perot,
for $2.5 billion.
1998 - A 54-day strike by the UAW costs GM approximately $2 billion in profits.
GM announces that it lost $38.7 billion in 2007
, a record loss for the company.
November 18-19, 2008 -
GM CEO Rick Wagoner and the CEOs of Ford and Chrysler appear before Congress to request $25 billion in government assistance for the automobile industry.
December 2008 -
GM receives a bailout of $13.4 billion
from the U.S. Treasury, through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
March 30, 2009 -
CEO Rick Wagoner announces that he is resigning at the request of the Obama
April-May 2009 -
General Motors receives another $6 billion in bailouts
May 29, 2009 -
GM stock closes at less than $1 a share for first time since the Great Depression.
June 1, 2009 -
GM files for bankruptcy. It receives another $30 billion in government funding to assist with restructuring. After bankruptcy, the company will be 60.8% owned by the U.S. government, 11.7% by the Canadian government, 17.5% by the UAW union and unsecured bondholders will have a 10% share.
July 10, 2009 -
General Motors emerges from bankruptcy after 39 days. It is now known as General Motors Company instead of General Motors Corporation.
December 1, 2009 -
CEO Fritz Henderson resigns after less than a year in the position.
January 25, 2010 - Chairman Edward Whitacre, Jr., is named CEO of General Motors.
April 7, 2010 - GM announces that the company lost $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.
August 12, 2010 -
CEO Ed Whitacre announces that he will be stepping down on September 1, 2010.
November 18, 2010 -
GM raises $20 billion with its initial public offering at $33 a share.
February 24, 2011 -
GM announces that the company made $4.7 billion in 2010, its first profit since 2004.
January 19, 2012 -
GM is officially the top automobile manufacturer in the world. Nine million vehicles sold in 2011 helped to make it the largest automaker in China also.
December 9, 2013 -
The U.S. Treasury sells its remaining shares of GM stock
, closing the book on the 2009 bailout. The United States only recouped about $39 billion of the approximately $50 billion it put into GM.
December 10, 2013 -
Mary Barra is named the first female CEO of GM.
February 14, 2014 -
GM recalls 780,000 vehicles due to faulty ignition.
February 26, 2014 - GM expands a recall of compact cars to 1.37 million vehicles built between 2003 and 2007, due to possible ignition problems. Thirteen people have died in accidents.
March 28, 2014 - The recall of GM vehicles with ignition issues is expanded to 2.6 million vehicles.
March 31, 2014 -
GM recalls 1.3 million vehicles due to a power steering issue.
May 15, 2014 -
GM announces it is recalling another 3 million vehicles worldwide, and that it will take a $200 million charge for those repairs. The bulk of the latest recall applies to 2.4 million cars with a wiring problem that's been tied to at least 13 accidents, two injuries and no deaths.
May 16, 2014 -
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fines GM $35 million to settle a federal probe into the 10-year delay of its ignition switch recall. This is the maximum fine for a single violation. The money from the fine goes to the U.S. Treasury, not to compensate crash victims. A separate FBI investigation is still underway.
May 20, 2014 - GM recalls another 2.4 million U.S. cars and trucks
. Spokesman Alan Adler says that no injuries or deaths are associated the recalls.
May 22, 2014 -
CNN reports a total of 29 separate GM recalls since January 2014
covering 13.8 million U.S. cars and trucks, and 15.8 million vehicles worldwide.
June 5, 2014 - GM releases the results of an internal probe relating to delayed recalls and the deaths of at least 13 people. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announces that 15 employees have been dismissed and five more have been disciplined. Barra also announces GM will create a program to compensate those injured or killed by the defective cars. Compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will decide how victims will be paid.
June 16, 2014 -
GM recalls another 3.36 million vehicles worldwide for a different ignition switch issue linked to eight crashes and six injuries. This brings the total number of cars recalled by GM this year to more than 20 million.
June 30, 2014 -
GM recalls 8.4 million vehicles worldwide, most for faulty ignition switches. This brings the total number of vehicles GM has recalled in 2014 to 27 million in the United States, nearly 30 million worldwide.
October 20, 2014 - The office of Attorney Ken Feinberg, who is administering the compensation program, announces that a total of 56 claims have been approved by his team, including 29 deaths, four serious injuries and 23 less serious injuries.
December 8, 2014 - The office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg releases a report on claims relating to GM's faulty ignition switch recall. Thirty-eight deaths are now attributed to the defect, and are eligible for payment. Also eligible for payment are six cases of severe injury and 45 cases of other injury.
February 2, 2015 - The office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg releases an updated report, after the program's January 31, 2015 deadline. More than 4,180 claims have been filed against General Motors, alleging the automaker's vehicles with faulty ignition switches caused deaths and injuries. So far, 128 claims have been ruled eligible, including 51 deaths.
December 10, 2015 - GM's faulty ignition switch caused 124 deaths
, according to a final report from the attorney administering funds to accident victims.