Cadillac /ˈkædɨlæk/, formally the Cadillac Motor Car Division, is a division of U.S.-based General Motors (GM) that markets luxury vehicles worldwide. Its primary markets are the United States, Canada, and China, but Cadillac-branded vehicles are distributed in 34 additional markets worldwide. Historically, Cadillac automobiles have always held a place at the top of the luxury field within the United States. In 2012, Cadillac’s U.S. sales were 149,782 vehicles.
Cadillac is among the oldest automobile brands in the world, second in America only to fellow GM marque Buick. The firm was founded from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company in 1902, almost 9 years before Chevrolet. It was named after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit, Michigan. The Cadillac crest is based on his coat of arms.
By the time General Motors purchased the company in 1909 Cadillac had already established itself as one of America’s premier luxury carmakers. The complete interchangeability of its precision parts had allowed it to lay the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles. It was at the forefront of technological advances, introducing including full electrical systems, the clashless manual transmission and the steel roof. The brand developed three engines, with its V8 setting the standard for the American automotive industry.
Cadillac was the first American car to win the Royal Automobile Club of England’s Dewar Trophy by successfully demonstrating the interchangeability of its component parts during a reliability test in 1908; this spawned the firm’s slogan “Standard of the World”. It won the trophy again in 1912 for incorporating electric starting and lighting in a production automobile.
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