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July 29: General Motors buys Cadillac on this date in 1909

Alex Lloyd

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Cadillac, founded in 1902 and named after the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac (who founded the city of Detroit in 1701), was purchased by General Motors on this date in 1909 for $4.5 million.

Henry Leland took the role of leader at Cadillac in 1904, with his son Wilfred by his side. By 1909, William C. Durant brought in Buick and Oldsmobile to form the baseline for the General Motors Corporation he founded the previous year. He then managed to convince Wilfred Leland that Cadillac should join the fold in return for $4.5 million in GM stock. Once the deal was done, the Lelands were retained in their management positions, overseeing automotive production.

96 years later, Cadillac remains a staple for luxury in the GM brand. While the Germans have maintained a stranglehold on the segment in recent years, cars like the Cadillac CTS-V, 3-Series fighting ATS and the upcoming ELR plug-in hybrid, prove the brand hasn't given up on returning to the pinnacle of automotive luxury.

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