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Opel celebrates its 150th Anniversary

The manufacturer of sewing machines has become one of the largest European car manufacturers

From the beginning, Opel has always been synonymous with affordable mobility

Opel has a role as a leader in e-mobility

December 31 at midnight, the Opel staff will not only to celebrate the New Year: It also will celebrate the beginning of the year marking the fiftieth anniversary of Opel percent. In 1862, the founder, Adam Opel, would have been hard pressed to imagine that his company would one day become one of the largest European car manufacturers.

In 1862, Adam Opel transforms the locksmith his father has Russelsheim, Germany, to build sewing machines. Then he launched his first bike in 1886, the model "Velociped." The MANUFACTURED bicycles Russelsheim has quickly meet the success. In the mid 20 years, Opel is the largest manufacturer of bicycles in the world. In the meantime, the company also added to its catalog of motorcycles. The Opel automotive history begins in 1899, making it the automaker still activity oldest of Germany, just after Daimler-Benz.

In the fall of 1902, Opel presented the "motor car with Lutzmann patent" with a motor of 10/12 hp. The car arouses enthusiasm quickly: in 1906, more than 1,000 copies of this car already outputs of the production line. In 1914, Opel exceeds all competitors to become the largest automaker in Germany. The brand wins acclaim with large models affordable and popular series such as "Doktorwagen" (1909) or "Puppchen" (1914). These models are the foundation of the system of values ​​of the company Opel vehicles offer high quality, reliable and affordable to a large segment of the clientele.

In the 1920s, Opel clearly practice of pioneering spirit that continues today. At this time, emerge the "Laubfrosch" (in french frog) and "Rakete" (rocket in french). The small 4/12 hp. receives the nickname "Laubfrosch" or "frog" because it is painted in a bright green color. In 1924, Opel is the first German manufacturer with chains of automated assembly. In addition, the company began a number of spectacular trials propulsion rocket motor that mark the spirits. Thus, in 1928, the rocket car Opel beats land speed record on the Avus track in Berlin. Driving, Fritz von Opel reaches a speed of 238 km / h: pure unimaginable feat at that time. A year later Opel Wings: Opel-Sander RAK1 decolle from a large square of Frankfurt, making it the first flight of rocket lives in public, although it was short lived.

1929 marked the beginning of a difficult period for the automotive industry. Millions of people lose their jobs because of the international economic crisis. The world economy collapses like a house of cards at the end of the "crazy years". However, Opel reacts quickly and is a strong partner in the American giant General Motors. The automaker Russelsheim can then consolidate its market position and in 1935, he managed to increase its annual production has more than 100,000 vehicles. A utility encounters a particular success: the truck "Blitz", a factory plant Brandenburg. At that time, the automaker launches Russelsheim technical innovation: the Olympia is the first German car serie a have a steel monocoque completely. A year later, Opel offers a compact model category, a success story that started 75 years ago. Nee with the first Kadett, it continues today with the Astra family. In 1936, Opel is the largest automaker in Europe with an annual production of more than 120,000 vehicles.

After the suspension of the production of civilian vehicles during the war years, Opel comes to the forefront during the period of reconstruction of Germany. The German economic miracle is associated has many names Opel models such as Olympia, Olympia Rekord, Rekord P1 and Kapitan as more and more homes are now equipped with refrigerators "Frigidaire" belonging to the same group Opel. In 1962, the 100th anniversary year of Opel, the brand opened a new factory in Bochum for the production of the new Kadett. In the sixties, Opel presents many novelties that highlight the sporty personality and emotional Opel Commodore as the legendary GT and Manta. The brand is also strongly represented in the category of large Driving with prestigious Kapitan, Admiral and Diplomat (KAD class) later replaced by the Senator and Monza.

In 1971, the tenth millionth Opel fate of assembly lines. In that year, Georg von Opel beat the speed record for electric vehicles battery has up to 188 km / h at the wheel of an Opel GT. This is proof that Opel already working on electro-mobility, dozens of years before it is even contemplated. Today, Opel is a pioneer in this field: the Ampera 111 kW (150 hp), endowed with a revolutionary extension of autonomy, is the first electric car series in the world whose scope n ' is not limited to the battery life.

In 1972, Opel is the number one manufacturer in Germany; the new range of models conceived Russelsheim has focused on the safety, fuel consumption and environmental friendliness. The fifth generation of Kadett that appears is endowed for the first time the front wheel drive. It also shows a particularly low drag coefficient, 0.39, making it one of the most aerodynamic compact cars. Opel continues to break records aerodynamics with the Omega A (CX 0.28) and Calibra (CX 0.26). In the 1980s, releases are important. Opel is among the pioneers. The manufacturer Russelsheim is the first German company to offer a full range equipped with catalytic converters. Since 1989, all models are equipped with this equipment.

In 1991, Astra launches the security system Opel. It includes protection against lateral impacts, reinforcements in the seats and seat belt pretensioners. The brand once again shows that it is ahead of the trends with the new Frontera. This recreational vehicle is one of the precursors of fashion SUV and quickly became the leader in the segment. In 1992, Opel opens its plant in Eisenach, which is at that time the most modern plant in the world. Opel continues to innovate: 1997 Opel becomes the first European manufacturer to offer an economical three-cylinder offers the Corsa. In 1999 launched the Zafira: builder Russelsheim opens a segment, the compact MPV has seven seats, will know a great boom. Zafira becomes the new reference of the interior of vehicles familiaux.1999 modularity is also the year in which Opel celebrates a prestigious rejoices more than 50 million vehicles produced since the beginning.

With the launch of the Insignia in 2008, Opel undertaking a repositioning of the brand. This upscale launches a new brand philosophy: the combination of the art of sculpture and German technology. This concept extends to soon recent Zafira Tourer and Astra GTC.

Opel brand and its sister British Broadcast Vauxhall are now in more than 40 countries. The company employs approximately 40,500 people in factories and distributed technical centers in six European countries. In the single year 2010, Opel / Vauxhall sold more than 1.1 million cars and light commercial vehicles and reached a market share of 6.2% in Europe. With the launch of the electric Ampera, the secular writing a brand new chapter in the European automotive industry, highlighting its role as leader of modern mobility solutions.

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