General Motors Corporation G.M. Information and History

About the major U.S. business General Motors G.M. information about its history, location, size, and boss.

GENERAL MOTORS

NITTY GRITTY

Location-Headquarters in Detroit, Mich., where it has 9 plants. It has 10 plants in Flint, Mich.

How Created-William C. Durant, who had headed the nation's top carriage and wagon-making firm before the rise of the motorcar, formed GM as a holding company in 1908, to purchase the stock of his Buick Motor Company. In the next 2 years GM bought out 25 separate companies, including Cadillac, Olds, and Oakland, which later became Pontiac. Following a period of financial difficulties, during which Durant temporarily lost control of the corporation, Durant changed GM into an operating company and sought financing from the Du Pont family and its corporations.

Though GM's early history was characterized by consolidation, it also "spun off" other major manufacturers. In 1917 GM president Charles Nash rambled off to form his own company, and in 1920 GM vice-president Walter Chrysler quit the company, and eventually formed the Chrysler Corporation.

Size-The world's 2nd largest industrial corporation, GM maintains operations in 30 countries, but is centered and headquartered in the U.S., where it has 100 plants in 67 cities.

Population-810,920 employees.

Who Rules-GM's day-to-day major policy decisions are made by its officers, who are elected by a 24-member board of directors, which includes 6 present officers and 3 past officers. The directors are elected by 1,283,260 stockholders owning 285,730,153 shares.

Who REALLY Rules-Major differences between management, the directors, and larger stockholders never occur, so it is difficult to determine real control. Residual power, however, lies with the big stockholders. Institutions, such as bank trust departments, own large blocks of stock, as do members and associates of the Du Pont family.

In 1972 GM refused to turn over a list of its large stockholders to a Senate subcommittee, so there is no public information on the size of institutional or Du Pont stockholdings. But presently 9 members of the board of directors are also directors of commercial banks.

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