When people hear "Chevrolet," they immediately think American cars. Indeed, Chevrolet is an American car brand owned by General Motors, but the brand's founder, Louis Chevrolet, was actually Swiss. Mr. Chevrolet was born on December 25, 1878, in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, a town that is famous for its watchmaking industry and is now home to such horological companies as TAG Heuer and Bell & Ross, among many others.
Mr. Chevrolet's family moved to Beaune, France, when he was young, and there he became a bicycle mechanic. One day, a wealthy American--a Vanderbilt, apparently--suffered a broken "steam tricycle" near the bicycle shop Louis was working for. Louis fixed the thing, and the Vanderbilt dude was so impressed that he convinced the gifted mechanic to move to America. In the United States, Mr. Chevrolet partnered with William Durant and founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company on November 3, 1911.
And so Chevrolet's centennial celebration this year has been kicked off in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Louis Chevrolet's birthplace. The actual jamboree, which will be observed around the world, will take place on November 11, 2011. Yes, that's 11-11-11.
Here's Atty. Albert Arcilla, Chevrolet Philippines' managing director, telling us about his brand's big milestone this year. Also below is a funny dramatization of Louis Chevrolet's beginnings. Watch the videos.