From 1938 to 1956, monthly issues of GM Folks were completed for publication by Donnelly Presses in Chicago - these were the exact same printing presses that millions of LIFE magazine issues rolled off. Then, literally hundreds of thousands of GM FOLKS would be mailed out to each and every one of General Motors employees; issues usually ranged from 20 to 30 pages in length. 

Since the following cover story outlines why and how GM was so enormously successful, (read GM's 1955 Annual Report overview) we have uploaded the first 9-pages of this issue, below, so anyone can examine this historically innovative data and information. For example, notice directly below how GM zoomed up to the 5-million car mark. Naturally, it's easy to see why employee enthusiasm and customer satisfaction streamlined this upward trend.

This magazine's cover story traces the sales growth of General Motors. Representing the beginning is an early Oldsmobile. A peek at the fabulous future is seen in Harley Earl's Firebird II. Over these pictures of GM progress is a graph scaling the rise to the record-breaking year of 1955 in terms of GM automobile and truck factory sales in the United States, Canada and the world. It begins in 1908, when GM started.

One word describes the valleys of the 30’s…depression. By 1936 GM had topped the two million mark. Then came the war when almost all the might of GM was directed to the war effort. This left tremendous pent up demand for civilian products, automobiles in particular. This is shown in the upward surge of the graph following the war and, almost without interruption, to the present day. For the story of GM achievements in 1955, scroll down below to page 4 for highlights from the 1955 report to shareholders.