The History Of Chevrolet – the bow-tie brand.  Chevy.

We experience the brand daily.  Which causes most of us to take the legendary American carmaker for granted.  Because of that, it can be hard to appreciate its significance.

⇒ iDriveSoCal’s Chevrolet Dealer is Martin Chevy in Torrance, California

But where did the American brand of cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans come from?  How did it get its start?  Who are Chevrolet’s founders?  And why did they create Chevrolet vehicles in the first place?

Black Chevy Bow Tie - Silverado EV

What Is The History of Chevrolet?

Here we’re going to unpack a bit of the history of Chevrolet.  And yes, only a bit.  Because there are volumes written about Chevy and its rich American history.  So we’ll focus on the ‘nuts and bolts.’

This iconic American carmaker is part of our daily lives.  And that’s whether we see the commercials.  Read about the vehicles.  Drive the cars.  Or work with the brand in any number of ways.

What Does Chevrolet mean?

One of the common questions is exactly what the name means.  Or where did Chevrolet come from?

And the answer might surprise you.  Because Chevrolet is the last name of an engineer, racecar driver, and mechanic.  Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland and lived from 1878 to 1941.

Why is Chevrolet called Chevy?

So, the next question after what does Chevrolet mean is; Why is Chevrolet called Chevy?

And, the moniker Chevy is short for Chevrolet.  Like how Smitty is to Smith.

Who Owns Chevrolet?

General Motors Corporation owns the Chevrolet brand.  And GM’s founding dates all the way back to 1908 in Flint, Michigan.

Over the years GM has owned many automotive brands.  But Chevy has always been the top seller.  GM’s other auto manufacturing brands include Buick, GMC, and Cadillac.

To clarify GM owns other brands in the automotive industry.  But those other brands do not manufacture cars, trucks, SUVs, or vans.

For example, GM owns OnStar, AC Delco, and GM Financial.  Plus emerging technology brands that pertain to the future of mobility.  Like electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

Who Founded Chevrolet And When?

Considering the Chevrolet brand came from a man it’s easy to assume he’s the founder as well.  Yet, in the history of Chevrolet, it’s not exactly the case.

Because the primary founder was a more legendary car guy by the name of William C. Durant.  ‘Billy’ Durant lived from 1861 through 1947.  And he was an automotive marketer.

So Durant, leveraging Chevrolet’s name as a racecar driver is the main guy.  It’s kind of ironic that Durant (the marketer and main guy) is a name very few know.  Whereas Chevrolet (the mechanic, driver, engineer) is the name known around the world.

When Was Chevy Founded?

While General Motors got started in 1908.  Chevrolet’s founding was in 1911 founding in nearby Detroit, Michigan.

Also, Billy Durant and Louis Chevrolet weren’t all alone in the founding of Chevy.  Because Durant gathered investors who are also considered founders.

Also, many people wonder which came first, GMC or Chevrolet.  And the answer is that GMC came before Chevrolet.  But like much of history there are caveats to that.

How And Why Was Chevrolet Started?

Billy Durant got pushed out of General Motors for a time.  And he wasn’t happy about it.  So, he aimed to start another car company – Chevy.

Durant took his business acumen and marketing skills.  Adding Louis Chevrolet’s name, reputation, mechanical skills, and racing experience.  And aimed at taking on Ford and its top-selling Model T.


Martin Chevy exterior - History Of Chevrolet

Southern California Chevy Dealer

What Was The First Chevrolet Madein History?

The first Chevrolet ever made was in 1911 and it was the Series C Classic Six.

Priced at $2,150, it was expensive and bigger than what Chevrolet would soon become known for.  And that’s what the brand represents today.  Quality and affordable vehicles.

Also, that first Chevrolet made missed its intended mark.  It didn’t take on Ford’s much smaller cheaper Model T.

Why Is Chevy The Bow-Tie Brand?

Known as the bow-tie brand.  Chevrolet earned that moniker by way of its first logo.

Because the logo looks like a bow tie.  It was first used in 1914.  And, it added to the marketing of the Chevrolet Model H.

And the Model H helped the brand in a big way.  Because with it Chevrolet launched a four-cylinder engine.  Which proved to be durable as well as dependable.

And, that 4-cylinder motor would power Chevrolet vehicles through 1928.  And the bow tie stuck.

What Chevrolet Vehicles Are Made Today?

Vehicles the bow-tie brand makes today include cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans.  And they’re used for both private and commercial purposes.

At the moment Chevy’s history is being written with a focus on electric vehicles.  Which is the case with many legacy carmakers.

But it still has both internal combustion engines (ICE) as well as electric vehicles (EV) in its line-up.


  • Trax
  • Trailblazer
  • Equinox
  • Blazer
  • Traverse
  • Tahoe
  • Suburban

Trucks & Vans

  •  Colorado
  • Silverado
  • Express


  • Bolt
  • Bolt EUV
  • Silverado


  • Spark
  • Malibu
  • Camaro
  • Corvette

How Many Chevrolet Dealers Are There?

And Chevrolet is now a globally recognized brand manufacturing vehicles.

Here in the United States General Motors has about 3,000 dealers.  So those are dealerships authorized to sell new Chevrolet vehicles.

And in the region of  SoCal, there are about 90 Southern California Chevrolet Dealers.

iDriveSoCal’s preference is Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, California.

2022 Chevy Equinox digital plate and badge

Martin Chevrolet is iDriveSoCal’s Chevy Dealer

Chevrolet, find new roads!