Cadillac // is an American luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors (GM). Cadillac currently sells vehicles in 37 countries, with its primary market being North America. In 2012, Cadillac's U.S. sales were 149,782. Globally, Cadillac's next largest market is China. The SRX crossover has been Cadillac's best selling model since 2010.
Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind fellow GM marque Buick and is among the oldest automobile brands in the world. Depending on how one chooses to measure, Cadillac is arguably older than Buick. Cadillac was founded in 1902 by Henry Leland, a master mechanic and entrepreneur, who named the company after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, the founder of the city of Detroit. The company's crest is based on a coat of arms that Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac had created at the time of his marriage in Quebec in 1687. General Motors purchased the company in 1909 and within six years, 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 America's premier luxury car. Cadillac introduced technological advances, including full electrical systems, the clashless manual transmission and the steel roof. The brand developed three engines, one of which (the V8 engine) set the standard for the American automotive industry. Cadillac is the first American car to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England, having successfully demonstrated the interchangeability of its component parts during a reliability test in 1908; this spawned the firm's slogan "Standard of the World." It won that trophy a second time, in 1912, for incorporating electric starting and lighting in a production automobile.
Cadillac was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford departed along with several of his key partners and the company was dissolved. With the intent of liquidating the firm's assets, Ford's financial backers William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen called in engineer Henry M. Leland of Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Company to appraise the plant and equipment before selling them.
Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue the automobile business using Leland's proven single-cylinder engine. The company needed a new name after Henry Ford left. On 22 August 1902 the company reformed as the Cadillac Automobile Company. Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing and the Cadillac Automobile Company merged in 1905.
Cadillac's first automobiles, the Runabout and Tonneau, were completed in October 1902. They were two-seater horseless carriages powered by a 10 hp (7 kW) single-cylinder engine. They were practically identical to the 1903 Ford Model A. Many sources say the first car rolled out of the factory on 17 October; in the book Henry Leland " Master of Precision, the date is 20 October; another reliable source shows car number 3 to have been built on 16 October. In any case, the new Cadillac was shown at the New York Auto Show the following January, where it impressed the crowds enough to gather over 2,000 firm orders. The Cadillac's biggest selling point was precision manufacturing, and therefore, reliability; it was simply a better-made vehicle than its competitors. Cadillac participated in an interchangeability test in the United Kingdom 1908, when it was awarded the Dewar Trophy for the most important advancement of the year in the automobile industry.
From its earliest years Cadillac aimed for precision engineering and stylish luxury finish, causing its cars to be ranked amongst the finest in the US. Utilization of interchangeable parts was an important innovation in 1908. Cadillac was the first volume manufacturer of a fully enclosed car in 1906, and in 1912 was first to incorporate an electrical system enabling starting, ignition, and lighting.Source: Wikipedia
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