"William Crapo "Billy" Durant (December 8, 1861 – March 18, 1947) was a leading pioneer of the United States automobile industry, who created the system of multi-brand holding companies with different lines of cars; and the co-founder of General Motors with Frederic L. Smith, and of Chevrolet with Louis Chevrolet. He also founded Frigidaire
With Buick as a base, Durant envisioned creating a large automobile company that would manufacture several makes and control subsidiary component-making companies, much as Durant-Dort had done in the carriage-making world. Durant founded General Motors Holding Company on September 16, 1908 and exchanged a large parcel of Buick stock for a matching parcel of McLaughlin stock making McLaughlin one of General Motors' biggest shareholders. In 1909 Durant's GM bought Cadillac and Oldsmobile and Oakland Motor Car, later called Pontiac, and many parts-manufacturing companies, paint and varnish companies, axle and wheel companies, etc., and merged them with GM" (wikipedia).
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