Chevrolet began in 1911 when Swiss race car driver and engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the company with William C. Durant, a General Motors executive who had been "cast out." The Chevrolet brand would eventually buy out the GM brand in a merger as well as several other well-known, but small automakers of the early part of the 20th century. Today, the Chevrolet brand is global, selling in every market except Oceania, where one of the company's acquisitions, Holden, still carries its name. Chevrolet's largest market is still the United States. Chevrolet sold more 1.18 million vehicles in the United States and 4.76 million globally in 2011.
Although Chevrolet has long been a participant in most of the world's major automotive racing series, it is best-known in the U.S. for its continued presence under several teams in NASCAR and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship (formerly ALMS and Grand-Am). Most recently, the newest-generation Chevrolet Corvette has made a return to racing, including the French 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Chevrolet has received numerous awards and accolades for its vehicles and brand. Eight of its 2014 models received 5-Star Safety ratings from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), several J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Awards (including more than any other automotive brand in 2011), and Chevrolet's vehicles are often found on the Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Award list. Chevrolet has also been recognized as a world automotive leader in alternative powertrains and technology for both its Voltec platform of electrification and its research and development of hydrogen fuel cells.