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Cadillac is a brand of luxury vehicles owned by General Motors. Cadillac vehicles are officially sold in over 50 countries and territories, with the majority sold in the United States and Canada. In the United States, the name became a synonym for "high quality", used in such phrases as "the Cadillac of watches," referring to a Rolex. In English usage outside North America, other brands are used in such phrases - usually Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Benz.
Cadillac's current slogan is Life. Liberty. And The Pursuit., in reference to the inalienable rights mentioned in the United States Declaration of Independence.
Cadillac was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford departed along with several of his key partners and the company was dissolved. With the intent of liquidating the firm's assets, Ford's financial backers, William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen called in engineer Henry M. Leland to appraise the plant and equipment prior to selling them. Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue the automobile business using Leland's proven 1-cylinder engine. Henry Ford's departure required a new name, and on August 22, 1902, the company reformed as the Cadillac Automobile Company.
The Cadillac automobile was named after the 17th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701.