Other Editorials

Like Father, Like Son

Jim Dollinger
Sunday, June 20, 2010

From the father of General Motors to the future father of the Mott foundation (as detailed in his book "Foundation for Living"):

On Charles Stewart Mott's thirtieth birthday, June 2, 1905,
it would have seemed easy to predict the pattern of his future
life. Within another two weeks, he would be celebrating the
fifth anniversary of his marriage. He was the father of two
children, and was already firmly settled in Utica, New York,
as president and general manager of the Weston-Mott Com-
pany. The company had made the transition from bicycle
wheels to automobile wheels and axles, and was showing a
steady advance in production and sales. It would have been a
fair assumption that C. S. Mott's future would be devoted to
continuing the development of this family company in Utica.
The event that changed this prospect was a very short letter to
Mott from W. C. Durant, written just two days after Mott's
thirtieth birthday.


Jackson, Michigan
June 4, 1905

Mr. C. S. Mott, Pres.,
Weston-Mott Co.,
Utica, N.Y.

Dear Sir:

Would you entertain a proposition of removing or establish-
ing a branch factory at Flint, Michigan, provided the business
of three or four large concerns was assured for a term of years?
Flint is in the center of the automobile industry, a progressive
city, good people, with conditions for manufacturing ideal.

Yours very truly,
W. C. Durant

c/o Durant-Dort Cge. Co.
Flint, Mich.


Today we have Mr. Mark Reuss running GM in North America. His dad, Lloyd, was also the father of Buick City. Under the elder Reuss's leadership, in 1984, Buick delivered more than 1,000,000 units (without China!). Maybe one day the son will follow footsteps and again build Buicks in Flint.