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The world known company Chevrolet is obliged its name to Swiss race driver and mechanic Louis Chevrolet. In 1909, its abilities were appreciated by the American entrepreneur William Crapo Durant, joined by that time several small companies in the automotive group General Motors Company, abbreviated as GMC. With the participation of Louis Chevrolet in 1911 the first passenger car with his name was developed, and soon, Chevrolet started their mass production. In 1916, Durant formed General Motors Corporation, and the Chevrolet company became a part of it on May 2nd, 1918. From this point in parallel with cars under the Chevrolet brand was produced a large family of commercial trucks. From the very outset, the Chevrolet produced the lightest models on passenger car chassis. Medium and heavy duty vehicles were produced by the General Motors Truck Company, whose products have GMC logo too. And the first Chevrolet trucks were pickups and vans could carry 350-500 kg of load.
Since 1935, a close cooperation with the commercial unit of GMC was began, that soon led to an expanded range of Chevrolet by new increased weight models. By 1937 the range of Chevrolet trucks included 11 models with capacities up to 2.5 tons. By the early 40-ies, Chevrolet has become a recognized manufacturer of light and medium duty trucks. By the end of 30-ies Chevrolet trucks were produced not only at the main plant in Flint, Mich., but by 9 other plants in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in the UK, under the Bedford brand.
During the Second World War, Chevrolet has been producing 1.5-ton G7100 (4x4) cars, as well as armored vehicles and tanks. The major occurrences in development of Chevrolet happened only in 1954, when the entire range of trucks new massive and aggressive exterior. Chevrolet has become the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in USA, produced in 1955 393 thousand trucks. It accounted for 31,5% of the market.
1969 was a turning point in the history of commercial trucks of General Motors. Its subdivisions Chevrolet and GMC full unified their programs and begun developing of a new wide range of commercial vehicles, produced at two factories in Flint and Pontiac, and marketed in parallel under two brands. The signing of General Motors in 1971 an agreement with Isuzu cleared the way for Japanese cars to the U.S. market. Since 1981 the producing of Isuzu trucks was begun in USA.
Fierce competition, high costs of solving technical and technological problems already in 1980 forced the Chevrolet, and GMC with it, to close developments of heavy trucks. Since 1981, General Motors began searching of a new partner or buyer for its commercial vehicles business. Finally they found it in a face of Swedish corporation Volvo. In January 1988, a joint company VolvoGM Heavy Truck Corporation was formed, consisting of a group Volvo White and both truck departments of General Motors. Only the Bruin model was saved from the whole GM's range. It was produced under the WhiteGMC brand during one year.
In December 2007, GM announced its intention to sell GM's medium-duty truck business, whose products include the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick, to Navistar International. In August 2008, both GM and Navistar announced that their memorandum of understanding for the purchase had expired and was not renewed. In January 2009 General Motors decided to wind-down its medium-duty truck operations.