100 years of engineering leadership: A scorecard
So it's no surprise that many of the things we take for granted can be traced to their origin at GM. Here are some highlights from GM's first century as an engineering leader.
1909 Cadillac introduced electric headlamps.
1912 Cadillac offered first self-starter.
Oakland introduced all-steel body.
1915 Cadillac launched world's first series-produced V-8.
Olds provided windshield and top as standard equipment.
1920 Buick began using all-steel wheels.
1924 GM opened its proving ground in Milford, Mich.
1927 Oldsmobile introduced chrome-plated trim.
1928 Buick offered first tilt steering column.
1928 Buick offered first tilt steering column.
1929 Cadillac's Synchro-Mesh Silent-Shift transmission took clash out of gear changing.
1930 First passenger-car V-16 engine was introduced by Cadillac with overhead valves, hydraulic lash adjustment, twin carburetors, dual exhausts and high-grade exterior finish.
1932 Oldsmobile automated the carburetor choke.
1933 Cadillac V-16 Aerodynamic (fastback) Coupe was first concept car.
Fisher Body implemented no-draft ventilation that provided ample fresh air with minimal interior disturbance.
1934 GM cars introduced first scientifically engineered independent front suspension systems.
Fisher Body's new turret-top roof used on various GM models consisted of single piece of stamped steel with no metal or fabric inserts.
1935 Chevrolet pioneered what became the SUV segment with the Suburban.
1938 Pontiac and Cadillac moved gearshift to steering column.
1939 Oldsmobile launched first successful automatic transmission, called Hydra-Matic Drive.
Buick and Cadillac introduced first all-metal sunroofs.
Buick offered self-canceling turn signals.
1948 Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac offered compound-curved windshields.
1949 Oldsmobile and Cadillac offered first high-compression, overhead-valve V-8 engines.
Two-door hardtop body style was introduced for Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac.
1950 Pontiac introduced first color-keyed interior.
1952 Oldsmobile provided automatic headlamp dimming.
1953 First mass-produced fiberglass body was introduced on Chevrolet Corvette.
1956 Chevrolet Corvette used first transistor radio.
1957 Mechanical fuel injection was offered by Chevrolet and Pontiac.
1958 Air suspension was introduced by five GM vehicle divisions.
1961 GM's Detroit Diesel division introduced engines capable of running on a variety of fuels, including gasoline and diesel.
GMC introduced V-6 engines for truck use.
1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire and Chevrolet Corvair Monza were world's first production cars with turbocharged engines.
Buick offered first domestic V-6 car engine.
1963 Cadillac offered first AM/FM radios.
1964 GTO performance option for Pontiac Tempest LeMans initiated muscle-car era.
Chevrolet Corvette offered first transistor ignition.
1965 First stereo radio appeared in GM cars.
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado was first modern American car with front-wheel drive.
Pontiac introduced first mass-produced six-cylinder engine with overhead camshaft.
1967 Several GM cars got first collapsible steering columns.
1968 Molded-plastic front bumper cover, introduced on Pontiac GTO, was precursor of today's fascia panels.
1969 Most GM cars got side door beams.
Some Pontiacs had radio antennas embedded in windshield and first molded-plastic gasoline tanks.
1970 Chevrolet Vega was powered by first aluminum engine with high silicon cylinder bore surfaces.
1971 Buick offered first electronic traction control.
Track Master computerized antilock rear brakes were Cadillac option.
1974 Dual airbags were introduced on Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac models.
Fisher Body invented ignition interlock system.
1975 Catalytic converters were installed on most GM automobiles.
Chevy Cosworth Vega's engine was first U.S. use of dual-overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder.
Chevy Chevette was first American vehicle with all-metric fasteners and dimensions.
1977 Oldsmobile Toronado offered first microprocessor-controlled ignition.
1978 Digital electronics operated Cadillac Seville trip computer.
1980 Integrated circuits took command of GM fuel injection, ignition and diagnostic functions.
1981 Corvette adopted fiberglass-reinforced monoleaf rear spring.
1987 Cadillac Allante employed multiplexed wiring for exterior lighting.
1990 Cadillac Allante introduced electronic traction control for front-drive cars.
1991 Saturn cars had molded plastic exterior panels.
1995 GM's Guidestar provided route information on LCD screen.
1996 GM's EV1 was first modern electric car.
Cadillac offered OnStar, first GPS-based assistance and communication service.
1999 Cadillac DeVille was first vehicle with night-vision system and LED taillamps.2002 Quadrasteer four-wheel steering appeared on Chevrolet and GMC full-sized pickups.
2006 Pontiac Solstice was first volume use of sheet-hydroformed steel body panels.
2008 Two-Mode hybrid system was offered on Chevrolet and GMC trucks.