August 22nd, 1902 Henry Leland formed the Cadillac Automobile Company in remnants of the Henry Ford Company (see Ford history). Henry Leland was actually brought in to help liquidate assets from the Henry Ford Company instead he ended up talking Ford’s financial backers into starting a new company and using Leland’s single-cylinder engine. Without Henry Leland’s efforts the automotive industry wouldn’t be where it was today.
Another interesting piece of information is where the name Cadillac is derived, normally a companies name is established from it’s founder so why did Leland decide to go with the name Cadillac? Well a 17th-century French explorer who’s last name was Cadillac was the person who actually founded Detroit in 1701 was actually an ancestor of Leland. That’s where the name Cadillac comes from.
In October of 1902 Cadillac completed it’s first car, there is much speculation concerning the exact date but it was definitely in October. The following January it was displayed at the New York Auto Show, where it impressed crowds enough to have over 2000 orders. Cadillac prided itself on being reliable they were out to show that there vehicle was a much better-made vehicle than any of their competitors. The following six years Cadillac helps lay the foundation for the mass production of automobiles.
Cadillac History Timeline and Innovations
In 1909 Cadillac went from being a car company to a division of another car company when they were purchased by General Motors (see GM history). Cadillac became General Motors’ pride division, based around making large luxury vehicles.
In 1912 Cadillac introduced the first vehicle with an electric starter, they deemed it “the car with no crank”. What did the electric starter mean? Well it opened up the driving experience to women
In 1915 Cadillac introduced the very first mass produced car to contain an eight cylinder engine. The eight cylinder engine went on to become one of the signatures of the Cadillac brand.
Cadillac was the first company to use interchangeable parts,this innovation happened in 1908, and was something that really helped revolutionize the automotive industry. Can you imagine the world today without interchangeable parts? You would never be able to find certain car parts especially on older vehicles and the repairs costs would be outrageous.
As you can see Cadillac was a pioneer of the automotive industry. They were the first company to start a lot of things we still use today, from interchangeable parts to the electric starter. In 1924 they were the first to introduce lacquer paint offering customers hundreds of different color combinations while most other competitors only offered one color – black.
Cadillac has been around for over a hundred years, and it will still be here in another hundred years. Cadillac was and will always be cornerstone of the automotive industry. It will always speak of style, class, and luxury.