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150 years of Opel: The most important Opel models from 150 years

Opel history
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I n 1862 Adam Opel built his first sewing machine. A year later he hired his first employee and the successful company history began with the production of bicycles and sewing machines. The brand achieved notoriety and reputation, the company grew and became one of the largest employers in Rüsselsheim. 300 employees work for Opel in 1885.

Tree frogs, luxury cars and continuity

Three years after Adam Opel's death in 1898, his five sons start building automobiles. The first automobile is the Opel Patent Motorwagen, which is based on the outdated Lutzmann system. But from 1902 onwards, Opel implemented its own designs. Even with the doctoral car, the company gained a reputation for building reliable cars. Success at sporting events underscores this. Luxury cars were also made in the early days, but the smaller types, such as the tree frog that emerged on the assembly line, are remembered. In 1928 GM took over the helm, and in 1935, the Olympia, a model with a self-supporting body, was presented for the first time. Names such as Kadett, Kapitän and Admiral began to appear in the 1930s, and the Olympic record was set in 1953.

The Opel brand was at its peak in the 1960s and 70s. During these years, the brand with the lightning bolt consolidated position two behind Volkswagen as the largest German manufacturer. Kadett, Rekord, Commodore and of course the representative cars of the KAD series (captain, admiral and diplomat) ensure acceptance in every segment of the population. With the Opel GT, Manta, Monza and the coupé versions of Commodore and Rekord, the call for sporty models has also been answered. The model range is extensive and Opel can serve almost every buyer's request. The advertising slogan “Opel, the reliable” is on everyone's lips and still contains the truth.

Paradigm shift in the 1980s

Front-wheel drive, small cars, attitude of the luxury class - in the 1980s one provided Failed model policy for decades of difficulties and a self-discovery trip. The quality declines, poor sheet metal quality causes rust in the showroom. The switch from rear-wheel to front-wheel drive alienated the sporty, ambitious clientele, and the buyers also recognized the attitude of the luxury class sedans with the failed replacement by the Senator upgraded Opel Omega as a sham package. The model range includes the Corsa, which was introduced in 1982 and manufactured in Saragossabecomes. The small car ensures high sales. 1989 Opel sold Corsa, Kadett, the Ascona successor Vectra, the record heir Omega including its luxury version Senator and the two small commercial vehicles Campo and Kadett Combo.

The sales figures are bobbing, but with Corsa , Astra and Vectra can prevent the small, compact and medium-sized cars from worse. However, while Volkswagen is making strong gains, competitors are catching up with Ford and premium manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi are also snatching up market shares from the Rüssleheim-based company, a failed and sometimes chaotic personnel policy is causing the once glamorous brand to plummet Around the turn of the millennium

Opel's declining market share is to be countered in the 1990s by expanding the model range to 19 models. For this purpose, some cooperations are concluded, including with Isuzu, Vauxhall, GM, Lotus, Suzuki, Renault and Nissan.

The compact Tigra, trimmed for sport, appears with the Speedster built by Lotus, and after the revival of the glorious name GT, two sports cars are also available. The vans Sintra (from GM) and Zafira are to catch up with the competitors from Wolfsburg, Cologne and Spain. The brand is also trying its hand at lightning bolts in the off-road vehicle segment: Frontera and Monterey are built by Isuzu - and will soon be discontinued. A new attempt will be made in 2007 with the Antara from GM. In the last few years, Opel has been characterized by new spatial concepts, which are, however, difficult to accept. Signum, Zafira, the Agila and Meriva minivans fall short of expectations.

Hopefuls Insignia and Ampera

The main source of income remains Opel's compact class, which is now in its ninth generation (Astra and Cadet) is out on the streets. Many other series were quickly discontinued, a luxury class is out of the question. In 2007, Opel only had a market share of 9.1 percent. Due to the difficulties faced by the parent company in the wake of the financial crisis, all hopes rested on the new Opel Insignia.

But even the model could barely gain market share for Opel in the following years. In 2011 Adam Opel GmbH was converted into a stock corporation. Two years later, Opel attacked again with its new boss Karl-Thomas Neumann. GM wanted to invest around four billion euros in the German and European locations. 23 new models were on the plan by 2016. In autumn 2012, Opel launched the Opel Mokka and the small car Opel Adam, followed by the Opel Cascada convertible in 2013, the Opel Corsa E in 2014 and the Opel Astra K and Opel Karl in 2015. As things progressed, Opel changed its model strategy a little and focused on the SUV boom: This year, the Van Mervia became the Crossland X. With the Grandland X, there is another large crossover in 2017Based on the Peugeot 3008. And the hopefuls Opel Insignia, now nicknamed Grand Sport for the sedan and the Insignia Sport Tourer station wagon, were reissued for 2017. In addition, with the Ampera-e, the Opel employees have a promising electric car up their sleeves.


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