In 1897, Rance Oldsman founded the American automobile company Oldsmobile. The first model of the brand became widespread in the United States market, thanks to the large volume of the power unit and good dynamic data, which especially pleased bootleggers and policemen, who purchased up to 90% of Oldsmobile cars. By 1901, Oldsman had become the largest automaker in the United States. However, in 1907, serious financial problems of the company began, after which Rance himself left, giving his brainchild to be bought out by creditors. So in 1908 the Oldsmobile brand became part of the General Motors concern.
General Motors engineers immediately set about creating a luxury car under the Oldsmobile brand. Such a model was the Limited Touring, introduced in 1910. Under the hood of the model was a six-cylinder power unit with a capacity of 60 horsepower. However, Oldsmobile Limited Touring went down in history not by the number of copies sold, but by the victory in the famous race against the train, which many automakers tried to repeat in subsequent years.
After the start of the Great Depression, the company focused on the production of components for other brands of General Motors, and the next model was introduced only in 1937. It was the Oldsmobile 8, equipped with the world's first semi-automatic four-speed gearbox. True, it was developed by Buick, but due to the lack of a suitable car for the first tests, the technology passed to Oldsmobile.
During the Second World War, General Motors switched over to the production of equipment for the United States Army, starting to produce trucks and artillery tractors. After the end of the war, Oldsmobile resumed the production of passenger cars, introducing the Rocket model, with an eight-cylinder engine. This was followed by the start of production of some of the first convertible hardtop in the United States, but the real peak of the company's development came much later.
Modernization of all existing models of the company began, which allowed Oldsmobil to again lead the sales statistics among the brands of General Motors, significantly ahead of Buick and Cadillac. However, in 1958, due to miscalculations in design, a crisis began in the firm, which was only able to abolish by additional financial injections from the parent company.
In 1962, Oldsmobile engineers introduced the first turbocharged engine in the United States, which was installed on the first front-wheel drive chassis in the United States. And the next successful project was the Oldsmobile Vista, equipped with a panoramic roof and a station wagon, which, together with a turbocharged engine, made it possible to significantly increase sales of the brand's cars.
In the mid-70s, a new generation of Model 88 was introduced, which became the sales leader among all General Motors vehicles. But in 1981, the management of the concern changed, which, coupled with the echoes of the fuel crisis and the growing popularity of Japanese brands, led to a sharp decline in sales of Oldsmobile models, and in 1989 the brand's engineering headquarters was disbanded. Since that time, the company has been producing cars of the Chevrolet brand stylized in the appearance of classic "Oldsmobiles". However, after another change of leadership, in the mid-90s, Oldsmobiles began to be supplied to other countries of the world, providing General Motors with a recognizable brand that was popular.
In 2000, it was decided to disband the Oldsmobile brand, which dropped out of the new concept of General Motors' activities, which localized a certain brand for each country. So, in 2004, the brand was disbanded, and the Oldsmobile factories came under the control of the Chevrolet brand.