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

We experience the brand daily.  So causes most of us to take the legendary American carmaker for granted.  Because of that, it can be hard to fully 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, just 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?

Throughout the history of Chevrolet 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?

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

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

Who Owns Chevrolet?

Chevrolet is owned by the General Motors Corporation.  And GM was founded in 1908 in Flint, Michigan.

Over the years GM has owned many automotive brands.  But Chevy has consistently been the top seller.  And Chevrolet’s current sibling brands under the General Motors umbrella 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 brand of Chevrolet vehicles was named after a man it’s natural to assume he’s the founder.  However, 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 leveraged Chevrolet’s name as a racecar driver in creating the Chevrolet brand of vehicles.  It’s kind of ironic that Durant (the marketer) is a name very few know.  Whereas Chevrolet (the mechanic, driver, engineer) is the name known around the world.

When Was Chevy Founded?

Chevrolet was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1911.

But Billy Durant and Louis Chevrolet weren’t entirely alone in the endeavor.  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, technically, came before Chevrolet.  But like much of history there are caveats to that.

How And Why Was Chevrolet Started?

Billy Durant was pushed out of General Motors.  And he wasn’t happy about it.  So, he aimed to start another car company.

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.

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

Also, the first Chevrolet made entirely missed its intended mark of taking on Ford’s much smaller cheaper Model T.

Why Is Chevy The Bow-Tie Brand?

Chevrolet is known as the bow-tie brand because of its logo.

Because the logo which looks similar to a bow tie was first used in 1914.  In fact, it was introduced with the Chevrolet Model H.

With the Model H, Chevrolet launched a four-cylinder engine that greatly helped the brand.  Because it proved to be durable as well as dependable.

Consequently, that 4-cylinder motor would power Chevrolet vehicles through 1928.

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.

Moreover, like many other legacy carmakers, Chevy’s history is being written with a focus on electric vehicles.  And it currently 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?

Throughout the history of Chevrolet, car dealerships have been started in many countries around the world.

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 approximately 60 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!