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Durant started the company on November 3, 1911 as the Chevrolet Motor Car Company.

Durant used the Chevrolet Motor Car Company to acquire a controlling stake in General Motors with a reverse merger occurring on May 2, 1918 and propelled himself back to the GM presidency.

Due to the prominence and name recognition of Chevrolet as one of General Motors' global marques, Chevrolet, Chevy or Chev is used at times as a synonym for General Motors or its products, one example being the GM LS1 engine, commonly known by the name or a variant thereof of its progenitor, the Chevrolet small-block engine. He also incorporated the Mason and Little companies.

The basic Chevrolet small-block V8 design has remained in continuous production since its debut in 1955, longer than any other mass-produced engine in the world, although current versions share few if any parts interchangeable with the original.

Chevrolet had a great influence on the American automobile market during the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1953 it produced the Corvette, a two-seater sports car with a fiberglass body.

The engine design has also been used over the years in GM products built and sold under the Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Hummer, Opel (Germany), and Holden (Australia) nameplates.

In 2005, General Motors re-launched the Chevrolet marque in Europe, using rebadged versions of the Daewoo cars produced by GM Korea.

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