World Encyclopedia of Cars
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Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile

Ransom Eli Olds made the first steam-driven car before 1891. He began to make cars with benzine power units in 1986. In 1898 S.L. Smith, a prosperous wood trader, had bought Olds' Benzine Engines Plant. At the turn of the century "Olds" reached a high level of sales by production of large series of driven carriages. In 1904 Olds resigned and founded his own В«ReoВ» automobile company. Following models, mostly large-sized sedans, were not very successive. "Oldsmobile" company faced with great financial problems and in 1908 was bought by General Motors.

As far as luxury Oldsmobile Limited was not very successful, next years company changed over to production of more compact models. In 50-ies Rocket 88 sedan with futuristic body design had a successful debut and the company stripped a rivals. In 1966 company had implemented innovations in production. As a result was created the first sportcar with automatic gearbox.

In the beginning of 2003 company ceased production of popular middle-sized Inrigue sedan. By the middle of 2004 Silhouette minivan and compact Alero sedan fell out of race. In 2005 last Aurora car rolled off the production line. New Oldsmobile Bravada offroadster would last till 2007 and then, probably, it would be produced under another brand of General Motors.

Necessity of changes, called by GM management as restructuring, was obvious. The fact is that Oldsmobile sales were couldn't be worse. If in 1985 this division of GM was able to sell more than 1 mln. of cars than in 2004 it has been sold only 260,000.

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