Unlike most automotive pioneers, Flint's William Durant was not an inventor. Co-owner of the nation's largest horse-drawn carriage company, he was a super salesman who saw the sales and marketing potential of the automobile.
Impressed with a 1904 Buick, Durant reorganized the company. In 1908 he incorporated General Motors, which was capitalized at $2,000. Within the first two years, Durant brought more than 30 firms into GM, including Buick, Cadillac, Oakland (Pontiac), Oldsmobile and the predecessors of the AC Spark Plug and GMC Truck. Forced out of GM, Durant formed Chevrolet and other companies. After gaining and losing control of GM again, he created Durant Motors, which had factories in Flint and Lansing.