May 11, 2006

Today In Automotive History

1916 Durant buys Delco

Charles Kettering and Edward Deeds agreed to sell their Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco) to the United Motors Corporation, a holding company founded by William C. Durant in his attempt to regain control of General Motors (GM). Deeds and Kettering both left the National Cash Register Company--where Kettering had invented the motor that made the electric cash register possible--in order to start Delco. Originally a research and development company, Delco began manufacturing in order to meet the demand for the self-starter that Kettering invented for Durant's Cadillac Corporation. Despite the fact that Durant had spurred on Kettering to invent the self-starter, Delco would sell self-starters to anyone who ordered them. After Durant regained control of GM in the spring of 1916, he moved to make certain that GM would have primary availability to Delco's parts. In a dramatic restructuring which pulled together some of GM's most vital part suppliers, Durant integrated five previously independent companies under the name of the United Motors Corporation. All of these companies would later fall under the GM name. Kettering went on to play a vital role in GM's research and development over the next two decades.

Posted by Quality Weenie at May 11, 2006 07:09 AM | TrackBack