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Buick History

Source: General Motors Corporation

David Dunbar Buick was a Scottish industrialist and auto builder. After making his mark with a process for annealing porcelain to steel for bathtubs, he turned to the profit opportunities of the horseless-carriage phenomenon. His first car, appearing in 1903, was a simple little chaindrive runabout with flat-tiwn power. One engine feature, over head valves, was a rarity then, but has been a hallmark of almost all Buicks since.

Buick Motor Company, founded by David Dunbar Buick, is incorporated on May 19, 1903. Ground is broken for the first Buick engine plant on September 11, 1903, with funding from Flint Wagon Works, and operations are moved from Detroit to Flint.

William Crapo ('Billy') Durant of Durant-Dort Carriage Company, Flint, Michigan, takes control of Buick Motor Company on November 1, 1904.

Buick builds its first production four-cylinder car, a 1907 Model D.

Under Billy Durant's leadership, General Motors Company is organized in 1908 (Sept 16), incorporating the Buick Motor Company.

In 1923, four-wheel brakes are introduced on 1924-model year Buicks

In 1929, Buick introduces a smaller 6-cylinder sedan which is named the Marquette. It is discontinued by 1931.

In 1932, B-O-P Sales Company is established, consolidating the wholesale sales forces of Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. It is disbanded the following year.

In 1936, the Buick Roadmaster, a milestone in styling (designed by Harley Earl), is introduced.

In 1937, Linden Division, Linden, NJ, is established to assemble Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs closer to the points of sale in the eastern U.S.

In 1939, the industry's first rear turn signals to use flasher are introduced by Buick.

In 1945, the Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac Assembly Division is organized. It later becomes General Motors Assembly Division (GMAD) in 1965.

In 1948, Buick introduces the first torque converter-type automatic transmission, Dynaflow, offered in U.S. passenger cars.

In 1951, Buick's LeSabre and XP-300, two custom-built super-streamlined concept cars, are introduced to test GM's new advances in styling and mechanical features.

In 1952, Power steering is offered by Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Buick.

In 1953, 12-volt electrical systems, developed by Delco Remy Division, are installed on Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles and Buicks.

The Buick high compression V-8 engine is introduced.

Power brakes are offered by Buick and Oldsmobile.

In 1954, the industry's first four-door 'pillarless' hardtop sedans are offered by Buick and Oldsmobile on 1955 models. The following year, Cadillac offers the feature on the 1956 Sedan de Ville.

In 1960, GM introduces three new smaller cars in the U.S. as 1961 models: the Buick Special, Oldsmobile F-85 and Pontiac Tempest.

In 1961, Buick introduces the first American V-6 passenger car engine.

In 1962, Buick introduces the prestige, E-body based, Riviera, as a 1963 model.

In 1976, GM introduces its downsized Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac full-size and luxury cars in September.

In 1979, GM introduces newly designed front-wheel-drive compact cars, the Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile Omega and Pontiac Phoenix X-body models.

In 1982, Buick Motor Division announces plans to consolidate its car assembly operations in Flint with Fisher Body Division's metal fabricating and body assembly facilities. The $200 million project is dubbed 'Buick City'.

In 1984, a new organizational structure for GM's North American Passenger Car Operations is formed. Two integrated car groups, Chevrolet, Pontiac, GM of Canada (C-P-C) and Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac (B-O-C), each have complete responsibility for their respective products, including engineering, manufacturing, assembly and marketing.

In 1988, GM introduces its 'GM10' family of newly redesigned midsize cars -- the Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and Pontiac Grand Prix.

In 1999, General Motors' new joint venture assembly plant in Shanghai, China, begins production of Buick Regals for the Chinese market.

In 2001, Shanghai GM, a joint venture between General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, launches the Buick Sail, the first modern family car built in China.

In 2002, Buick celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary.