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  1. Born February 16, 1843 - Died March 26, 1932. Henry M. Leland was an inventor, machinist, engineer, and automotive entrepreneur who not only founded two leading American automobile luxury brands, Cadillac and Lincoln, but also introduced to Detroit the concept of interchangeable parts for automobiles. The basic techniques for making interchangeable parts were developed in 19th century New England.

  2. Leland applied numerous modern manufacturing principles at Cadillac, resulting in the first car to utilize interchangeable parts in 1904, and also worked with Charles Kettering to develop the first electric self-starter. Leland’s insistence on precision manufacturing helped Cadillac become synonymous with excellent build quality.

  3. Leland & Faulconer was folded into the Cadillac assembly plant to form the Cadillac Motor Car Company in 1905. The Cadillac car was renowned for quality and luxury. Two of Leland’s contributions were the electric self-starter (developed with Charles Kettering), and a V-8 engine. Cadillac was awarded the coveted Dewar trophy for automotive innovation in 1908 for their standardization of parts, drawing attention to the company’s precision manufacturing.

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  5. Henry M. Leland established the Cadillac Automobile Company in August 1902, a few months after he had been summoned to appraise the remnants of the Henry Ford Company. Henry Ford, the founder of the Henry Ford Company, had fallen out with his investors, Lemuel Bowen and William Murphy, and had left the company he founded.

  6. At Cadillac, Leland applied many modern manufacturing principles to the fledgling automotive industry, including the use of interchangeable parts. Alfred P. Sloan , longtime president and chair of General Motors, considered Leland to be "one of those mainly responsible for bringing the technique of interchangeable parts into automobile manufacturing."

  7. Leland suggested naming the car after the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. The first Cadillac arrived in 1903 and was an immediate success, its price notwithstanding. By 1908, Cadillac had five luxury models in its portfolio, all with fully interchangeable parts.

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