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; however, upon the demise of Oldsmobile, Buick is generally accepted to currently be the oldest American make still in production.
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, 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 the Cadillac family’s historic coat of arms. 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. As a result, Cadillac is the first American car to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England and adopt the slogan “Standard of the World”.