Cadillac was formed from the Henry Ford Company upon Henry Ford's departure. 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 in the automobile business. Henry Ford's departure required a new name, and on August 22, 1902, the company reformed as the Cadillac Automobile Company.
The first Cadillac car was completed on October 7, 1902
Cadillac uses as its emblem the arms of Antoine de La Mothe, seigneur de Cadillac, born in Gascony on March 5, 1656 of minor nobility. He founded Detroit in 1701, and was governor of Louisiana. His arms were: Quarterly, 1 and 4: Or a fess between three martlets sable, 2 and 3: quarterly gules and argent three bars azure. The count's coronet is fanciful, as was often the case in 17th and 18th c. France.