Society of
Automotive Historians

Books by Louis Fourie

For a dedicated car enthusiast like Louis Fourie the opportunity to join General Motors Overseas Operations in 1968 was the realisation of a dream.  GM funded his university education and helped launch a rewarding career.

His career provided opportunities to sample a wide variety of cars from Opel, Vauxhall and Holden and to gain hands-on knowledge of the automobile industry.  He maintains contact with his GM contemporaries in their foreign postings and actively continues to gather material on GM worldwide.  Further research convinced Louis that he has amassed the tools and detailed information to compile this comprehensive history.

This three-volume work is the realisation of a goal to provide the most extensive and detailed history of GM’s international automobiles ever written.  Included is the complete collection of specifications of all GM’s global automobiles to be found anywhere.  Recording this GM history is also a gesture of appreciation to GM for the great career opportunities provided him.

Louis continues to provide commentary and articles on automotive history including other automotive makes.  He is actively involved with the Society of Automotive Historians where he is a director.  His fascination with automobiles, the people and the industry will last a lifetime.

This three-volume work is the realisation of a goal to provide the most extensive and detailed history of GM’s international automobiles ever written.  Included is the complete collection of specifications of all GM’s global automobiles to be found anywhere.  Recording this GM history is also a gesture of appreciation to GM for the great career opportunities provided him.

Louis continues to provide commentary and articles on automotive history including other automotive makes.  He is actively involved with the Society of Automotive Historians where he is a director.  His fascination with automobiles, the people and the industry will last a lifetime.

On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International

Brief Description:

Volume One traces the history of Opel and Vauxhall separately from inception through to the 1970s and thereafter collectively to 2015.  Special attention is devoted to examining innovative engineering features and the role Opel has taken of providing global platforms for GM.  Each model is examined individually and supplemented by exhaustive supporting specification tables.

Volume Two examines unique models and variations of Chevrolet and Buick manufactured in the Southern Hemisphere and Asia but never offered in North America.  Daewoo, Wuling and Baojun are other Asian brands covered in detail.  This volume concludes with recording the remarkable early success of Holden and its continued independence through to today.

Volume Three covers the smaller assembly operations around the world and the evolution of GM’s export operations.  A brief history of Isuzu, Subaru and Suzuki looks at the three minority interests GM held in Asia.  The GM North American model specifications are the most comprehensive to be found in a single book.  Global and regional sales statistics are included.  GM executives and management from around the globe are listed with the roles they held.  An index ensures that these volumes serve as the ideal reference source on GM.


 Number  Number ofImages –
  of Pages:  Color: B&W:
 Volume I 612  599 108
 Volume II 472 394 27
 Volume III  486         36    3
 Total 1,570  1,209 138
 Price: US$ 
 Hardcover ISBN:                 
Volume I 
Volume II$50.00978-1-4602-9688-2
Volume III$50.00978-1-4602-9690-5
Total  $160.00 

Website Link to Purchase Books:

       Volume I

       Volume II

       Volume III

Purchase from Author – All Volumes $150.00 – Email Contact 


We think of General Motors being as American as apple pie and baseball, but, in reality, this corporate giant has, for more than 100 years, had a worldwide footprint, with plants and different brands in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.  The topic of GM’s automotive history outside of the U. S. is so vast in scope that it has never before been tackled in its totality.  With the help from research assistant Martin J. Schaefer, former General Motors Overseas Operations employee and current Society of Automotive Historians president Louis F. Fourie has done the inconceivable and authored a three-volume set of books that is, according to GM Heritage, the most extensive and detailed history ever written about the company, from a global perspective.  Three hardcover books encompass 1,570 total pages and include illustrated comprehensive histories of scratch-started or purchased former and current GM-owned marques like Vauxhall, Saab, Holden, and Daewoo, plus special international variations of Buick, Chevrolet, Opel, and more.  Charts detail mechanical specifications and production figures of each model built, and key executives are profiled.  It’s an incredible achievement, fascinating to anyone interested in automotive history, and an indispensable reference for GM enthusiasts around the globe.

Mark J. McCourt
Hemmings Motor News

Table of Contents:

Volume I                              Opel, Vauxhall, Saab and Lotus from Europe

 PART ONE          Adam Opel from Germany   
CHAPTER 1Sewing Machines, Bicycles and External Designs6
CHAPTER 2The Opel Designs, 1902 – 191417
CHAPTER 3World War I and Subsequent Desperate Times, 1914 – 192940
CHAPTER 4GM Arrives – Innovation for the 1930s58
CHAPTER 5World War II and Post War Expansion78
CHAPTER 6Kadett Returns and Opel Soars96
CHAPTER 7From Shapely Sleek to Polished Prestige113
CHAPTER 8Superior Handling for the 1970s126
Appendix P1-1Opel Management134
Appendix P1-2Opel Specifications 1899 – 1929137
Appendix P1-3Opel Specifications 1930 – 1977142
Appendix P1-4Opel Production Numbers147
 PART TWO         Vauxhall from the United Kingdom 
CHAPTER 9Vauxhall Gardens, Luton and Flutes154
CHAPTER 10The Pomeroy Designs162
CHAPTER 11Early Sporting Years173
CHAPTER 12GM’s Experiment in Overseas Manufacture184
CHAPTER 13Innovations for the Thriving Thirties193
CHAPTER 14From War to Flamboyant Fifties206
CHAPTER 15Expanding Sixties220
CHAPTER 16Severe Seventies Leads to Ophalls232
Appendix P2-5Vauxhall Management239
Appendix P2-6Vauxhall Specifications 1903 – 1924241
Appendix P2-7Vauxhall Specifications 1926 – 1978243
Appendix P2-8Vauxhall Production, Sales and Financial Numbers247
 PART THREE    Global Designs from Opel 
CHAPTER 17World Car By Default253
CHAPTER 18Cementing a Sporting Image262
CHAPTER 19Front-Wheel Drive and Wearing the Crest of Every GM Brand278
CHAPTER 20New Territory, Super-Mini288
CHAPTER 21The Fastest 4-Door Sedan in the World300
CHAPTER 22A Growth Sector – SUVs314
CHAPTER 23Opel’s Automotive Centenary331
CHAPTER 24Exotic Roadster345
CHAPTER 25FlexSpace – Clever Versatility359
CHAPTER 26The Impact of Ownership Structure371
CHAPTER 27The Emerging Influence of South Korea382
CHAPTER 28To Sell or Not to Sell396
CHAPTER 29Indulge the Desires of Enthusiastic Drivers415
Appendix P3-9Specifications For Global Designs (Mostly) from Opel, 1973 – 2015418
Appendix P3-10Engine Specifications of Opel, Vauxhall & Common GM Brands433
 PART FOUR        Saab AB from Sweden 
CHAPTER 30Origins and an Entry Into Automobiles450
CHAPTER 31New Horizons, Mr. Saab and So Neat463
CHAPTER 32Swedish Elegance481
CHAPTER 33Turbocharging, the Ticket to the Premium Seats492
CHAPTER 34An Italian Dance507
CHAPTER 35GM in Search of a Premium Brand516
CHAPTER 36A True Saab523
CHAPTER 37Filling Gaps in the Product Line and Building a Cadillac536
CHAPTER 38GM Bows out of Saab550
Appendix P4-11Saab Executives and Management556
Appendix P4-12Saab Specifications559
Appendix P4-13Saab Production Numbers565
 PART FIVE         Lotus from the United Kingdom 
CHAPTER 39Sporting Specials Plus Some Assembly Required569
CHAPTER 40Light But Strong Backbone and Mid-Engine Magic578
CHAPTER 41The Elite and Giugiaro’s Grant to Supercar Status587
CHAPTER 42More Than GM Ever Bargained For598
Appendix P5-14Lotus Specifications605
Appendix Vol.2-15Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations609

Volume II      Holden, Daewoo and Unique Variations of Chevrolet, Buick and Opel

 PART SIX            Chevrolet in Brazil 
CHAPTER 43Turbulent Beginnings, Local Content and Competition616
CHAPTER 44Early GM Manufacture in the Sixties621
CHAPTER 45First with a World Car Design for the Seventies633
CHAPTER 46Navigating the Nineties with Some Imports642
CHAPTER 47New Century, New Plants and New Designs 654
Appendix P6-16GM do Brasil Executives and Management671
Appendix P6-17Chevrolet Brazil Specifications 672
Appendix P6-18Chevrolet Brazil Engine Specifications678
Appendix P6-19Chevrolet Brazil Production684
 PART SEVEN     Chevrolet and Opel in Argentina 
CHAPTER 48Sporadic Opportunity687
CHAPTER 49GM Returns694
Appendix P7-20GM Argentina Executives and Management697
Appendix P7-21GM Argentina Chevrolet and Opel Specifications698
 PART EIGHT      Chevrolet, Opel and Ranger in South Africa 
CHAPTER 50Opportunity But Escalating Local Content Requirements701
CHAPTER 51Cosmopolitan Chevrolets706
CHAPTER 52Back to Opel but GM Departs for a Few Years715
Appendix P8-22GM South Africa Executives and Management 719
Appendix P8-23GM South Africa Specifications 720
Appendix P8-24GM South Africa Sales 725
 PART NINE         Chevrolet and Daewoo from South Korea 
CHAPTER 53Early Alliances 730
CHAPTER 54GM’s First Joint Venture 735
CHAPTER 55Exported to GM Markets 748
CHAPTER 56GM Departs 756
CHAPTER 57Rapid Growth Yet Soon Stretched Too Far764
CHAPTER 58GM Returns774
CHAPTER 59Globalizing the Chevrolet Brand782
CHAPTER 60Platform Unity Returns788
CHAPTER 61Daewoo Brand Retired But It’s a Success Story799
Appendix P9-25GM Korea/Daewoo Executives and Sales/ Production804
Appendix P9-26GM Korea Daewoo/Chevrolet Specifications805
 PART TEN          Buick, Chevrolet, Wuling and Baojun in China 
CHAPTER 62Incredible Opportunity 817
CHAPTER 63Why Buick? 821
CHAPTER 64Murtaugh’s Micro-vans 828
CHAPTER 65LaChina LaCrosse 837
CHAPTER 66A Chinese Chevrolet.  Where is the Ceiling? 847
Appendix P10-27GM China Executives and Management 862
Appendix P10-28GM China Buick, Chevrolet, Wuling & Baojun Specifications863
Appendix P10-29GM China Buick, Chevrolet, Wuling & Baojun Engine Specifications872
 PART ELEVEN   Holden in Australia 
CHAPTER 67Holdfast Heritage880
CHAPTER 68GM (Australia) Pty. Ltd. And GM-Holden’s Ltd885
CHAPTER 69Holden’s War and Postwar Activities894
CHAPTER 70The Pride of Australia901
CHAPTER 71A Smaller Companion917
CHAPTER 72HQ – High Quality929
CHAPTER 73Leaning Towards Japan and Europe940
CHAPTER 74The Crown Slips Off and Regulations Bite952
CHAPTER 75Toyota Alliance – Button’s Bite But Soon Unbuttoned968
CHAPTER 76Monaro Migrates to the USA and UK985
CHAPTER 77Holden Special Vehicles996
CHAPTER 78Those Stubborn Australians Win As Usual1007
CHAPTER 79Holden Special Vehicles E Series1016
CHAPTER 80The Most Successful Division, But Spoken Too Soon1026
Appendix P11-30Holden Executives and Management1029
Appendix P11-31Holden Specifications1031
Appendix P11-32Holden Engine Specifications1056
Appendix P11-33HSV Range1064
Appendix P11-34Holden Body Production Pre-WWII1069
 PART TWELVE   Conclusion 
CHAPTER 81A Sad End But a Bright Future Awaits1073
Appendix Vol.2-35Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations1081

Volume III     GM Worldwide, North American Specifications and Executive Listings

 PART THIRTEEN      A Corporate Review of GM International 
Appendix P13-36Spreading Wings 1087
Appendix P13-37Foreign Manufacturing 1093
Appendix P13-38Minority Interests and Joint Ventures 1098
Appendix P13-39Corporate Executive Listing – Export, Overseas and International 1102
 PART FOURTEEN    Worldwide GM Plants 
Appendix P14-40General Motors North America (GMNA) 1111
Appendix P14-41General Motors Europe (GME)1117
Appendix P14-42General Motors Asia Pacific (GMAP)1129
Appendix P14-43General Motors Latin America, Africa and Mid-East (GMLAAM)1144
Appendix P14-44Selected Specifications from Plants Not Reviewed Elsewhere1153
Appendix P14-45Selected Specifications of Other Makes Using GM Engines1160
Appendix P14-46GM Plants – North America1163
Appendix P14-47GM Plants – International1168
Appendix P14-48GM Component Operations1172
Appendix P14-49GM Production and Sales Statistics1173
 PART FIFTEEN         Affiliates, Links and Name Combinations 
Appendix P15-50Fiat Auto S. p. A.1203
Appendix P15-51Isuzu Motors Limited1206
Appendix P15-52Subaru – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.1211
Appendix P15-53Suzuki Motors Company1218
Appendix P15-54GM’s Links to Most of the Auto Industry1227
Appendix P15-55Name Combinations1230
 PART SIXTEEN         GM North American Specifications 
Appendix P16-56Lesser Known GM Automobiles        Cartercar, Ellmore,1243
 Ewing, Rainier, Scripps-Booth, Sheridan, Welch & Companion Makes 
Appendix P16-57Buick Specifications 1904 – 20151259
Appendix P16-58Cadillac Specifications 1903 – 20151290
Appendix P16-59Chevrolet Specifications 1912 – 19541308
Appendix P16-60Chevrolet Specifications 1955 – 20151311
Appendix P16-61Chevrolet Engine Specifications 1955 – 20151340
Appendix P16-62Oldsmobile Specifications 1901 – 20041354
Appendix P16-63Pontiac Specifications 1926 – 19541380
Appendix P16-64Pontiac Specifications 1955 – 20091383
Appendix P16-65Pontiac Engine Specifications 1926 – 20091406
Appendix P16-66Canadian Pontiac Specifications 1937 – 19701419
Appendix P16-67Canadian Pontiac Engine Specifications 1937 – 19701425
Appendix P16-68Saturn Specifications 1991 – 20101428
Appendix P16-69Obsolete GM Makes – Specifications 1900 – 19391431
Appendix P16-70GM Body and Platform Listing1440
 PART SEVENTEEN          GM Executives and Management 
Appendix P17-71GM Corporate Executives and Management1449
Appendix P17-72GM North American Executives and Management1452
Appendix P17-73GM International Executives and Management1464
Appendix P17-74GM Executives and Management – Alphabetical Listing1473
Appendix Vol.3-75References1517
Appendix Vol.3-76Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations1537
Appendix Vol.3-77Bibliography1541