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Cadillac (pronounced /ˈkædɨlæk/, is a luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors. Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mainly in North America.
Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind Buick and among the oldest automobile brands in the world. Depending on how one chooses to measure, Cadillac is arguably older than Buick. Since GM has discontinued offering Oldsmobile, Buick has the distinction as the oldest American make.
Cadillac was born in 1902, at the dawn of the twentieth century. Its founder, Henry Leland, a master mechanic and entrepreneur, named the company after his ancestor, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, born Antoine Laumet, the founder of Detroit. It was purchased in 1909 by General Motors and within six years, Cadillac laid the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles by demonstrating the complete interchangeability of its precision parts, also establishing itself as America's premier luxury car. This is also the inspiration for the company’s crest, which is based on a coat of arms "created" by Detroit's founder, around the time of his marriage in Quebec, in 1687 (there is no ancient "Cadillac" family or coat of arms in France). Cadillac pioneered many accessories in automobiles, including full electrical systems, the clashless manual transmission and the steel roof. The brand developed three engines, one of which (the V8 engine) set the standard for the American automotive industry. Cadillac is the first American car to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England - having successfully demonstrated the interchangeability of its component parts during a reliability test in 1908; this spawned the firm's slogan "Standard of the World". It won that trophy a second time, in 1912, for incorporating electric starting and lighting in a production automobile.

Cadillac was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford departed along with several of his key partners and the company was dissolved. With the intent of liquidating the firm's assets, Ford's financial backers William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen called in engineer Henry M. Leland of Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Company to appraise the plant and equipment before selling them.
Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue the automobile business using Leland's proven single-cylinder engine. The company after Henry Ford left needed a new name, and on 22 August 1902 the company reformed as the Cadillac Automobile Company. Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing and the Cadillac Automobile Company merged in 1905.[2]
The Cadillac automobile was named after the 17th-century French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701.[3][4]


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