American auto manufacturer Buick has a long and storied history as a premium brand of the General Motors company. Like many GM brands, it has faced its share of hardships, but the brand has persevered, and today Buick vehicles are still known as some of the most reliable on the market. Buick Motor Company's history dates all the way back to the 1890's. Although the official start of the company is usually pegged as being in May of 1903, Buick's roots go back David Buick's creation of the Buick Auto-Vim and Power company (changed to Buick Manufacturing Company for a short time) in 1899. This organization sold engines for the boat and farm markets, and it is the true beginning of the Buick story. In the latter part of 1903, James H. Whiting seized the struggling Buick company. Whiting moved Buick to his Flint, Michigan hometown, from Detroit. He decided to bring in William Durant by 1904 to direct the budding company. At this time, Buick traded his company stock upon his leaving for a meager amount. Buick models today are available in the United States, Mexico, Canada, China, Israel, and Taiwan. China is the company's largest market, and Buick is credited with the honor being America's oldest still-active automobile make. Present Buick models are united with GM Daewoo and GM's German Opel subsidiary.
Buick met with early success due to the company's first invention: the valve-in-head engine. This engine became the most reliable and the strongest upon its arrival on the market. Eventually, all automobile companies started using this technology. This technology helped the Buick 10 in its outrageous success in 1908. From this success, Durant created the holding company General Motors. He eventually lost a lot of the companies he acquired through the new GM due to his hasty business practices, but the name and the company live on.
1911 brought some intense changes for Buick, including a new focus on more expensive lines. Buick sales roared throughout the 1920s, and sales reached almost three hundred thousand units in 1926. Buick was, at this point, considered a luxury brand, and it became the vehicle of choice for political leaders and aristocrats on a global. New Buick expeditions around the world broke many hill-climbing and distance records. Buick suffered hard losses when the Great Depression occurred in 1929, however, especially because it was a luxury brand. Buick, like many auto manufacturers, produced aircraft engines and military vehicles during WWII, and Buick automobiles weren't produced from 1942-1946. When they were, they were actually 1942 models with new serial numbers. These were still very "new" looking cars compared to some other brands, and the company was very successful in sales.
Buick has produced many successful vehicles over the years. Some early models include: the Buick Special (originally available in 1936 for several years, and again in the 1960s), the Buick Roadmaster (1936-1958), the Buick Limited (available in the late 30s, early 40s, and 1958), the Buick Super (available from 1940-1958), and the Buick Century (30s, 40s, and 50s). New innovations like the fully automatic Dynaflow transmission helped Buick stay on track, despite some years of American financial hardship. The 1962 Buick Special was extremely popular and held years of success. Another popular model was the Buick Regal, which ran from 1973-2004. Buick is still successful with vehicles like the 2012 Buick Regal and 2012 Buick LaCrosse. It competes with several automakers, including Acura, Infiniti, and Volkswagen.