Michigan History

Automobile Industry of Lansing

Oldsmobile Motor Vehicle Company

Oldsmobile is an American brand that produced General Motors vehicles. In 1897, Olds Mobile Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds in Lansing, Michigan. The car company produced 425 cars by 1901 making it the first gasoline fueled car. Oldsmobile became the top selling car company in the United States for some time. Between 1901-1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Company was the first mass production car company. After the merge from Olds to Olds Motor Vehicle Company, but the same Olds Gas Engine in 1899, it moves to the new plant in Detroit. By March 1901, were prepared for a front line of car productions. Unfortunately, a worker caused the factory to catch on fire and burn to the ground which destroyed all prototypes on future vehicles. A new factory was built and Curved Dash started production again. In the 107 years in business, Olds produced 35.2 million cars which included 14 million built in a Lansing factory. Despite Oldsmobile phasing out in 2004, it was the oldest surviving American automobile and one of the oldest in the world. During the company’s bankruptcy in 2009, Oldsmobile prepared General Motors brands to succeed in the automotive business.

Ransom Eli Olds Motor Car Company

In 1904, Ransom Olds sold his Oldsmobile Curved Dash company in Detroit and established the REO Motor Car Company in Lansing. Ransom Eli Olds was born on June 3, 1864 in Geneva, Ohio. His father was a blacksmith and then a store owner. When he was a teenager his family moved to Lansing, Michigan. He produced affordable cars that the standards of the vehicle mattered more than him selling it. His ideal was to collaborate the city people and farm people and give them a sense of the daily life of each others world. By 1907, he built his empire with a 25% profit than other automotive industries. In 1938, Olds branched out and collaborated with Diamond T. and Diamond Reo Trucks, Inc, who are known for their up-most quality of vehicles. The place went out of business in 1975 and Olds was the only person who had two companies named after him. With decades of his reputation, Olds was an inspiration to future leaders in the automobile industry. Even though Olds did not remain in the automotive industry, he was the stepping stool for future industries and their career direction. He died in 1950 in Lansing at the age of 86.

Below is a video of Motor Companies that had a significant impact on today’s industry.




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