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About ChevroletChevrolet is GM's best-selling brand of all time, and it's easy to understand why. Established early in the 20th Century as a direct competitor to Ford and its Model A, Chevy offered low-priced vehicles for mainstream buyers--with forward-looking styling and easy-to-service mechanical components. By the 1950s, the brand had become an American icon, thanks to the success of its truck line and iconic cars such the Corvette and Bel Air.
Founded by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant in 1911, the company has grown over the decades to build everything from medium-duty trucks through sub-compact, eco-friendly daily drivers. Thanks mostly to Chevrolet, GM was the largest manufacturer of vehicles in the world until 2008, when it was surpassed by Toyota.
The 1950s and 1960s were the golden years of GM, and Chevrolet in particular, starting mainly in 1955 with the redesign of the Bel Air line. But the most important... View more development of 1955 was the introduction of the small-block V8--an engine that survived in various configurations up to the current day. Since 1955, over 90 million Chevy small-block V8s have rumbled to life.
While the muscle car didnt begin with Chevrolet, many enthusiasts will argue that it was perfected by the brand, with cars such as the 1969 Camaro Z/28, 1967 Chevelle SS 396, 1965 Impala SS 396, and 1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6 among the most popular--and most expensive--muscle cars in today's collector-car market.
The Corvette has been the line topper for Chevrolet since its introduction in 1953. It was America's first mass-produced fiberglass car--and Chevrolet's first sports car. Innovative options, such as fuel injection in 1957 and a complete four-wheel independent suspension on the iconic Split-Window coupe in 1963, turned the Corvette into America's Sports Car. Racers soon discovered Corvettes, and the cars quickly won fame as world-class sports cars that could beat the best on the track, including Shelby, Jaguar, and Ferrari.
The most successful Chevrolet vehicles have been pickup trucks. Chevy and GMC trucks have battled for sales dominance with rival Ford since the close of World War II. More than ten million Chevrolet and GMC pickups were sold by 1966--and millions more have rolled off the line since then.
Milestones in the truck line include the introduction of the Suburban Carryall in 1935, which is considered to be the first sport utility vehicle built.
The late 2000s saw Chevrolet's rebirth of powerful late-model muscle cars, such as the Camaro and Z06/ZR1 Corvette, which brought high performance back to the marketplace. Chevrolet is helping GM climb out of bankruptcy, alongside a U.S. government bailout that took place in early 2009.
Chevrolet is also positioning itself for the future, with significant investment in designing new, sustainable cars and trucks. The Volt is the first of these cars, featuring plug-in hybrid technology with an EPA-estimated combined mileage of 93 mpg. These efforts, combined with high-performance cars and light- and medium-duty trucks, should keep Chevrolet dominant in the market into the 21st Century. View less
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