The History of Chevrolet

October 21st, 2019 by

2020 chevrolet traverse

Chevy’s symbol is iconic, even if you might not know what you’re looking at. The gold cross, which was initially modeled after a bowtie, is on nearly 3,000,000 new vehicles that were sold in 2018. However, despite its popularity, Chevy’s background still doesn’t get as much airtime as its competitor, Ford. Whatever Ford did for revolutionizing the workability of a car, Chevy did for making a fun car to drive. Started by a racecar driver, Chevrolet cars and trucks are known for being zippy and stylish.

Ford and Chevrolet are two of the top-ranking brands of cars in the United States. Yet, the average American knows so much more about the history of Ford than they do about the history of Chevy. But that’s about to change.

From Racecar Driver To Car Creator

Chevrolet’s start supported its continued focus on automotive achievement. It was made up of people who were dedicated to cars from the beginning. The company was started in 1911 by a racecar driver from Switzerland named Louis Chevrolet. Chevrolet was also an automotive engineer, which might be why their prototype was much more extravagant than their first released car. Additionally, the success of his race car driving career was part of how the company was originally promoted.

Chevy was founded in Flint, Michigan, where many of the most famous vehicle brands were also established. The company was co-founded by William Durant, who founded General Motors only a few years before. The company did not have as many initial investors as other companies, but the investors it did have included William Little of Little Automobiles and James H. Whiting of Buick. Later, this would support the incorporation of GMC and Buick into the Chevrolet brand family.

Chevrolet got off to a somewhat late start when it came to releasing its first car. Although it opened its doors in 1911 and had a few initial prototypes drafted up, the Series C was not released until 1913. However, after the release of the C, the production of cars at the company skyrocketed.

Why The Bowtie?

The bowtie branding has been part of Chevy since the start, symbolizing the hip and classy nature of the cars. However, it wasn’t modeled after an actual bowtie – it was rumored to be modeled after a chic French wallpaper print. However, historians also think that the bowtie shape is a nod to the cross on the Swiss flag or Chevrolet’s homeland.

Unlike Ford, who did not introduce any branding marks on their car until later on in production, Chevy used the bowtie initially to differentiate between different models, and presented this method only a year after the release of its first car. Today, we see only one color bowtie – the gold bowtie. Back in its origins, the bowtie existed in multiple colors.

Blue was used to signify passenger cars.

Gold, on the other hand, was meant to showcase trucks.

And Red for cars that might have luxury options.

The cohesive gold bowtie, which we see on most Chevys on the road today, came around in 2004 as a way to distinguish the company from Ford.

Revolutionizing Green Transportation

There are many reasons why Chevy might have been the first American car company to champion and mass-produce electric cars. Around this time, Al Gore was starting to address climate change and ask people to change their ways – including their car usage. Additionally, although Chevrolet is an American brand, it still has European roots. In Europe, hybrid and electric cars have been monumentally popular. Finally, Chevy has always been about the best performance, which is something that harkens back to its days of being run by a race car driver. It strives to meet all these marks regardless of the cars it introduces.

Although the Ford Fusion existed around the same time that Chevy came out with its first half electric car, it was not nearly as popular as the Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt was among the first electric hybrid cars, and was a best-seller throughout the early 2010s, especially in Europe. Its popularity helped it gain notability, and eventually, it was the recipient of many awards. The Volt is a hybrid, meaning that it relies on both electricity and gas to get around.

Then came the Bolt, which was the first affordable all-electric car. The car had a range of 200 miles. Although this is no Tesla range, it gave people hope for the future of green transportation – both in affordability terms and where we can go with it. With a continued push for sustainability, this was Chevy’s way of saying that sustainable cars were the future of car production.

Chevrolet Today

Today, Chevrolet is rated as the fifth most reliable brand of cars worldwide, beat only by Lexus, Porsche, Buick, Infiniti, and Kia. Chevrolet continues to push the mold for affordable small cars, and its Sonic has remained in the top three most reliable small cars by J.D. Power. Chevrolet is ranked at an over 11 billion dollar worth, which puts it in Forbes’ top 100 most valuable brands of all time. But even with information pointing to Chevrolet being reliable, there are still some who refuse to believe it.

Chevy and Ford fanatics have had a long-term rivalry. One fan will always insist they are better than the other, and vice versa. But really, both have a history of innovation and bettering the American people, they just addressed these values in different ways. With Chevrolet, it was about marketing well-performing cars that met with people’s wants and desires.

Are you a Chevrolet fan? Then Zeck Auto can help you find your next best car. Not a Chevy fan? Come to one of our locations in Oklahoma and Kansas and let us convince you. We have a variety of new and used cars at affordable prices. Additionally, we carry other brands – including Ford – if we can’t convince you. Stop by our Chevrolet dealership at 1601 N. Greenwood Avenue in Purcell or call us at (833) 394-6830 for more information.

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