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Opel Automobile GmbH

legal form GmbH
founding January 21, 1862
Seat Ruesselsheim am Main , Germany
management Michael Lohscheller (Managing Director)
Number of employees 35,600 (18,250 in Germany); Status: May 2017
sales 18.3 billion euros (2017)
Branch Automobile manufacturer
Website www.opel.com
As of December 31, 2017

Opel main portal and portal building in Rüsselsheim near the train station, in front of it the monument to the company's founder Adam Opel
View of the oldest factory buildings, which were built after the great fire of 1911 according to plans by Paul Meissner , the main portal on the left edge of the picture, Adam's Bistro in front and some exhibition areas accessible to the public
Adam Opel AG share of RM 10,000 on August 20, 1941
1911 Opel Torpedo, Melle Auto Museum, March 24, 2018

The Opel Automobile GmbH is a German automobile manufacturer that the French automotive group since August 2017 Groupe PSA belongs.

In 2017, around 35,600 employees in Europe, including more than 18,250 in Germany, manufactured components and vehicles for Opel in ten plants that are independent subsidiaries of Opel or PSA. In addition to the main factory at the German headquarters in Rüsselsheim am Main , Opel also has factories in Kaiserslautern and Eisenach in Germany . The Bochum plant was closed at the end of 2014. Some models are purchased from group companies or subsidiaries outside Europe, for example in the USA or South Korea, or from contract manufacturers ( SOVAB , Magyar Suzuki and Tofaş ) (so-called badge engineering ).


1862: Adam Opel starts manufacturing sewing machines

Adam and Sophie Opel in the year of their wedding (1868)
Advertisement for Opel Perfecta sewing machines (1901)

Adam Opel was the eldest son of master locksmith Philipp Wilhelm Opel in Rüsselsheim. After an apprenticeship in his father's company, Opel went on a journeyman journey in 1857, which took him to Paris via Liège, Brussels and England. First he worked there in a safe factory, then with his brother Georg Opel in the sewing machine factory of Journaux & Leblond. At the beginning of 1862 they switched to the Huguenin & Reimann sewing machine factory. Adam Opel returned to Rüsselsheim in autumn 1862 and began building the first Opel sewing machine in his father's workshop.

In the spring of 1863 Adam Opel started his own business in a former cowshed, while his brother Georg, who had stayed in Paris, provided him with the special steels, grippers and needles he needed. The production of the sewing machines took a lot of time. Opel earned his living by manufacturing wine corking machines and selling sewing machines from Plaz and Rexroth from Paris (these sewing machines are often incorrectly referred to as Opel No. 1 ). In 1864, sewing machines from London based on the patent from Elias Howe were also in the Opel range.

The marriage with the innkeeper daughter Sophie Marie Scheller in 1868 enabled Opel to set up the sewing machine factory of Adam Opel and to acquire factory shares in the foundry Lallement & Cie . A total of 20,000 sewing machines had been manufactured by 1880. With the factory renovation in 1882, the Singer system was used. Up until then, Opel had built: Opel sewing machine by Plaz and Rexroth, Thomas tailor sewing machine, 1864 Delphin sewing machine by Grover and Baker, 1870 titanium sewing machine Sophia and Cylinder Elastique sewing machine for shoemakers. In 1885 300 workers produced 18,000 sewing machines. The company's founder died in 1895 and his widow Sophie continued to run the company together with their five sons Carl , Wilhelm , Heinrich , Fritz and Ludwig .

By 1900 at the latest it became clear that the future of the Opel factory would not lie with sewing machines. The entire German production was almost higher than the possible world sales. Sewing machine sales stagnated, and Opel sold cheaply to wholesalers and overseas. In the years between 1863 and 1911, Opel manufactured and sold a total of one million sewing machines. After a major fire in the Opel factory in 1911, the company stopped manufacturing sewing machines and only produced bicycles and motor vehicles.

1886 to 1940: Opel bicycles

Opel's sons got their father excited about the idea of ​​the bicycle . Thanks to her persistence, the father was persuaded; In 1886, the first Opel bicycle, a penny farthing , left the factory on the Main Railway . In 1898, 1,200 employees produced almost 25,000 sewing machines and 15,000 bicycles. The factory fire in 1911 meant a break in bicycle production, but operations had already resumed in 1912. It was also the five Opel brothers who, as successful racing cyclists, contributed to the popularity of Opel bicycles. In the 1920s, Opel rose to become the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world. Motorized bicycles were also built. In 1936, bicycle production was sold to NSU Motorenwerke in Neckarsulm. NSU and Opel bicycles were offered as NSU and NSU-Opel until around 1940 .

1898 to 1928: Rise to the largest automobile manufacturer in Germany

Opel patent motor car "System Lutzmann" (1899–1901)

In 1898, three years after the death of the company's founder, who never wanted to produce cars, Sophie Opel began manufacturing automobiles. At the instigation of the sons, Opel took over the Anhaltische motor vehicle factory of the Dessau master locksmith, automobile pioneer and designer Friedrich Lutzmann , who was appointed director, on January 21, 1899 . The Opel patented motor car "System Lutzmann" was produced in the main plant in Rüsselsheim. This was exhibited by Lutzmann in September 1897 in the Hotel Bristol in Berlin at the first IAA . Right from the start, Opel produced various body and engine variants, including a delivery van. The motorization allowed a top speed of up to 40 km / h. However, they could not compete with the then highly developed French motor vehicles, and so automobile production was stopped for the time being.

In 1902, Opel signed a cooperation agreement with the French automobile manufacturer Darracq and produced Voiturette vehicles under the brand name Opel-Darracq. The cooperation was maintained until 1907. In 1902, however, there was already Opel's first in-house design, the 10/12 PS , which was equipped with a 1.9-liter two-cylinder engine. With the Opel Darracq 30/32 PS , the company presented its first car with a four-cylinder engine in 1904 . In June 1907 , Opel works driver Carl Jörns achieved third place in the Kaiserpreis race in Taunus after a tough battle with the eventual winner Felice Nazzaro in a Fiat , which earned Opel the title of imperial court supplier for automobiles as the manufacturer of the best-placed German vehicle .

Opel 8/30 from 1911 (2012), Heidi Hetzer with her daughter

The Opel 4/8 PS , a two-seater convertible that was offered by many doctors for house calls , was particularly popular , and was quickly nicknamed the “doctor's car”.

In 1911, in addition to automobiles, Opel launched the Opel 60 hp motor plow , which was very popular on country estates. In 1912 3,000 workers produced 30,000 bicycles and 3,000 automobiles. The factory premises were around 73,000 m². The 24/30 hp saloon was exhibited at the Brussels Motor Show in 1912 .

"Opel-Ei" after Max Lochner (1913)
With the “Tree Frog” , Opel became Germany's largest automobile manufacturer

A year later, Opel developed the prototype of a streamlined vehicle , the so-called "Opel-Ei", based on Max Lochner's designs , which was built at his expense for 120,000 marks . With the exception of a test car from the French company Dubonnet , this was the only car with a real streamlined shape at the time. The cross-section was almost circular and you could stand upright in the egg , even at a top speed of 95 km / h, thanks to the good road holding and suspension. And this despite balloon tires and missing shock absorbers and swing axles , which did not exist at the time. Even with a top hat , getting in and out was unhindered and, thanks to the good sealing of the interior, it was only slightly dusty considering the road conditions at the time. The red painted "Opel-Ei" patented under the tax formula 13/30 PS was confiscated during the First World War and has since disappeared.

After the outbreak of war in 1914, Opel maintained car production and manufactured, among other things, the 8/22 and 9/25  hp models . The 21/55 hp model presented in 1919 was the first Opel six-cylinder car and was built until 1924. The deployment of French forced laborers in the Rüsselsheim plant is documented for 1916.

In 1924, the Opel plant in Rüsselsheim was the first automobile manufacturer in the German Reich to be equipped with assembly lines in order to produce more cheaply for wider shifts. The successful Opel 4 PS (" tree frog ") model could now be built in an efficient mass production. Fritz von Opel , who had already earned a reputation as a test driver, was experimenting on rocket-powered cars and reached the record speed of 238 km / h at the AVUS in 1928 with his RAK 2 model . A year later he undertook one of the world's first manned rocket flights with the Opel-Sander RAK.1 aircraft on the Rebstock site in Frankfurt . The number of employees grew from 2,400 in 1924 to 9,400 in 1928, when Adam Opel KG became the largest German automobile manufacturer with 42,771 automobiles produced.

Motorcycle production

Shortly after automobile production began, Opel started building motorized two-wheelers. The first Opel motorcycle was the 2-horsepower motorbike that left the Rüsselsheim factory in 1901 and was available for 700 marks; motorcycle production was stopped in 1907. After the First World War, the Opel motorcycle was produced. In 1922 the Opel track racing machine was specially developed for fast cement tracks. This year, light Opel motorcycles with 1½ hp from Opel & Beyschlag were also advertised in Vienna (details: controlled valves, clutch, idling, special frame).

In the mid-1920s, Opel relocated motorcycle production to Saxony . In 1928, Opel then took over the majority of the shares in the bicycle manufacturer Elite Diamant in Reichenbrand , a district of the city of Siegmar near Chemnitz. The elite factories in Brand-Erbisdorf in Saxony served as the new production facility . A 16 hp model from Diamant-Werke with a Kühne engine, 500 cm³ displacement and tubular steel frame was offered for a short time under the Opel logo. In the same year Fritz von Opel acquired the license for the so-called "Neander frame" from Ernst Neumann-Neander . Soon afterwards, the Opel Motoclub 500 motorcycle equipped with this pressed steel frame went into series production. It was only available in the color combination silver gray / red. Despite the success of the Motoclub 500, GM decided after the final takeover to part with the loss-making elite diamond works. Thus, after almost 6,000 units and almost 20 models, the motorcycle production started at Opel in 1901 ended. A successor model that was already in the prototype stage was not implemented. Until the beginning of 1930, a few motorcycles were assembled in Rüsselsheim from existing parts. After separating from Opel, the Elite-Diamant-Werke also produced some Motoclub machines from existing parts, which were given an elite emblem.

Trucks and aircraft engines

Aircraft engine Argus As III (O)

Opel started truck production in 1909 and was the first commercial vehicle to deliver light trucks in 1910 . At first these had only 1½ t and in 1911 3½ t payload and were also very successful as army trucks with 30 HP. This truck had passed the great test of the Imperial Russian subsidy trip and was also manufactured as a bus. After the devastating fire at the Rüsselsheim plant in 1911, Opel also built the truck as a fire engine until 1918. During the First World War, a larger type with a payload of 4½ t was also manufactured. With more than 4000 employees, 4453 trucks, 2391 passenger cars and about 6000 aircraft engines of the types Argus As III and BMW IIIa were manufactured in Rüsselsheim between 1915 and 1918  . After the occupation by French troops on December 12, 1918, commercial vehicle production had to be temporarily stopped. After that, Opel continued to build the trucks with large-volume engines (6.2 l) and up to 50 hp in small numbers. In the inflation year 1923, truck production had to be completely stopped. It was not until 1927 that Opel started to build small trucks again as so-called “Schnellastwagen” with up to 2½ t payload, which now also had pneumatic tires and a brake on all four wheels. The new truck series with one to two and a half tons of payload presented at the end of 1930, whose catchy name “ Blitz ” was identified in a major competition, was very successful.

1929 to 1945: Purchase by General Motors and World War II

Opel 1.2 liter (1931–1934)
The Olympia , built from 1935 to 1937, was the first German vehicle with a self-supporting body
The Opel top model Admiral was only built from 1937 to 1939
An Opel Blitz 3,6-6700 A (all-wheel drive) of the Wehrmacht in service in Italy in 1944
Assembly of the Opel Blitz in the Opel factory in Brandenburg (1936)
Historic Opel advertisement for the Hetzer representative in the Wittenbergplatz underground station , Berlin

In 1928, Opel was the largest vehicle manufacturer in the German Reich with 44 percent of all vehicles produced. On December 3, 1928, the company's legal form was changed from a limited partnership to a stock corporation . The share capital was 60 million Reichsmarks. On March 17, 1929, Wilhelm von Opel and his brother Friedrich Opel initially sold 80 percent of the company's shares to the American automotive group General Motors (GM). GM took over the company completely by 1931. The main reason was the onset of the global economic crisis . The sales price was a whopping 33.352 million US dollars or 154 million Reichsmarks for that time  . (In today's currency this would be around 542 million euros). The Opel brothers were able to persuade them to remain members of the supervisory board and Fritz von Opel to head the board. In addition, the name Opel and an independent model policy were retained.

In 1930 the company made a loss of almost 14 million Reichsmarks. In 1931, Opel only had 5892 employees and the annual production of all vehicles fell to 20,928 in 1932. Exports were particularly profitable with a share of 77.6% of total German automobile exports in 1931. At that time, the mainstay of the program was the 1.2 liter Opel (with four-cylinder engine and 22 hp), which was also modest in size 1.8-liter model with six-cylinder engine and 32 hp (also known as the Opel “Regent”), which was also produced as an elegant coupé and roadster .

After the seizure of power of the Nazi party in 1933, General Motors was considering no retreat from Germany . Instead, in an adjustment process that lasted until 1936, key positions were filled with National Socialists and Jewish employees were dismissed or transferred to the USA. The Opel P4 , presented in 1935 , was the first “Volkswagen” to sell extremely well in just two years with over 65,000 units. At the instigation of the Nazi government , the ultra-modern plant in Brandenburg an der Havel was built in the same year for the production of the larger three-tonne “Blitz” trucks as part of the armament of the Wehrmacht . Also in spring 1935, Opel presented the Olympia , named after the upcoming Olympic Games , which was the first German vehicle to have a self-supporting all-steel body. With 102,293 vehicles built in 1935, Opel became the first German manufacturer to exceed the 100,000 mark. In 1937, with 130,267 vehicles built, Opel was the largest car manufacturer in Europe and the seventh largest in the world. The luxury class was represented that year by the new 3.6-liter top model Admiral and the Super 6 (2.5 liter), which looked similar to the Chevrolet Master . Both cars were still conservatively built with a separate box-frame chassis.

In 1938, Adam Opel AG , with a share of 46.6% in total German exports, was the most important source of foreign currency for the economy in the National Socialist German Reich. In that year Sweden and Denmark (7200 and 3250 cars of all models respectively) topped the Opel export statistics, followed by Poland (1400), Argentina (1300) and South Africa (1200). 100 cars went to Costa Rica, 145 to China and even New Zealand ordered 168 cars in Rüsselsheim. On June 9, 1938, Adolf Hitler awarded James D. Mooney, Vice President of General Motors responsible for Opel, the Order of Merit of the German Eagle (1st stage) .

Before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, the range of passenger cars consisted of the four-cylinder Kadett (1.1 liter displacement / 23 hp) and Olympia (1.5 l / 37 hp), as well as the luxury class car with the six-cylinder Kapitän (2.5 l / 55 PS) and Admiral (3.5 l / 75 PS). In 1938 140,580 motor vehicles were built with net sales of 337.7 million Reichsmarks. In October 1940, by order of the Reich government, Opel had to completely stop the production of civilian cars. During the Second World War, the company produced the most important Wehrmacht truck, the 3-tonne Blitz “S” (standard) truck. In addition to lightning trucks, engines, parts for rockets and torpedoes as well as components for the Junkers Ju 88 and Messerschmitt Me 262 were manufactured at the Rüsselsheim plant. In Warsaw and Riga , Opel operated repair shops for military vehicles used on the Eastern Front. By 1943, the Rüsselsheim plant employed over 18,500 people; In January 1945, in the wake of the catastrophic raw material situation, this number reached a low point with almost 6,000 employees. In contrast to other German automobile companies, Opel refused to employ concentration camp prisoners , but resorted to forced labor . In addition, since 1933 the workers were increasingly exposed to the terror of the fascist factory security. In 1942, 52 percent of the 4,000 employees at the Brandenburg truck plant were foreign forced laborers, at the Rüsselsheim plant 20 percent of 18,500, other sources speak of up to 35 percent. In July and August 1944, the two Opel plants in Rüsselsheim and Brandenburg an der Havel were badly damaged by Allied air raids. The Brandenburg truck plant could not resume production and was dismantled after the end of the war.

Alfred P. Sloan , GM president from 1923 to 1937 and then chairman of the board of directors until 1956, justified General Motors' involvement in what would later become the enemy of the war, Germany, with the fact that “a global international corporation [...] should operate its businesses on a purely business level. regardless of the political views of his management or the countries in which he operates. ”In 1941 the last American manager had left Opel; formally GM remained the owner. From 1942 there was no longer any contact between Opel and General Motors. After the German Reich declared war on the United States in 1942, General Motors had the opportunity to write off Adam Opel AG as an "asset in enemy hands" . By the end of the war, Opel had produced 1.1 million vehicles. In 1951 General Motors applied for the payment of the dividend account of the war years, which contained the equivalent of 22.4 million Reichsmarks. In 1999, GM commissioned the historian Henry Ashby Turner to deal with his own history during National Socialism, who, among other things, described this payment as "shameful", as the profit had been made through the suffering of slave labor. The important military role of Opel was neither aspired to nor desired by GM, but on the other hand a refusal was not realistic. In 2000, Opel contributed 30 million  Deutschmarks to the “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” foundation .

1945 to 1960: New start in Rüsselsheim

One of the Opel administration buildings in Rüsselsheim
Opel product from 1949 to 1959:
"Frigidaire" refrigerator
Opel Rekord P1 (1957–1962)

On behalf of the military government of the American zone of occupation , over 1,500 cars, primarily Opel models from the prewar period, were repaired in the only remaining plant in Rüsselsheim for three years from July 1945. The year 1945 went down in the company's history as the year in which not a single Opel vehicle was produced: The first “post-war” Opel was a “ Blitz ” truck with a payload of 1½ t that left the factory on July 15, 1946 which was half destroyed in 1944. The Brandenburg truck plant , which was ready for production again after the destruction, as well as the Rüsselsheim facilities for Kadett production, had to be transported to the Soviet Union as reparations in mid-1946 by decision of the victorious powers . The "Kadett" continued to be produced there as the Moskvich-400 . Thanks to the commitment of the first works council chairman Friedrich Zängerle , Opel resumed automobile production in Rüsselsheim in 1947, initially with the successful small pre-war model Olympia and from 1948 with the larger Kapitän . At the end of 1947, the company in Rüsselsheim had 8147 employees, compared to 19,585 at the end of 1951. On November 1, 1948, General Motors took over management control at Opel with General Director Edward W. Zdunek . The employee magazine Opel Post was first published in July 1949 . This makes it one of the oldest magazines for internal communication.

After GM completely integrated the German Frigidaire GmbH with its production of refrigerators in Rüsselsheim since 1938 into Opel AG, the popular brand name Opel was also used here. Depending on the period of manufacture, the devices bear the name “Frigidaire” with the addition “Product of Adam Opel AG” or, in addition to the Frigidaire lettering, the white / yellow Opel logo introduced in 1950 with an associated Frigidaire crown. 1959 production ended.

The Olympia was followed by the Olympic Record in 1953 . In the 1950s, Opel manufactured the most popular car after the VW Beetle in Germany with its mid-range models Olympia, Olympia Rekord and Rekord P1 (from 1957); At times, the Opel Kapitän followed in third place as a luxury class car , which has received six model changes in the decade. The statement "Opel the Reliable", first used in 1936, was used in advertising until the late 1960s; from then until about 1972 for the more conservative buyers of Rekord, Commodore and the KAD models with the Blitz logo and the signature “Geprüfte Zusammenarbeit”.

1960 to 1980: Successful times and market leader

Opel Kadett A (1962-1965)

In order to be able to offer its own product in the class dominated by the VW Beetle, a completely new Kadett was developed at the end of the 1950s and produced in the new Bochum plant from mid-1962 . The new vehicle with the name of the pre-war model came on the market as a sedan, coupé and (from 1963) also as a caravan. The Kadett was successfully advertised in a large campaign (“Opel Kadett - in short: OK”), which means that the car sold very well right from the start.

Opel Diplomat B (1969–1977)
Opel Ascona A (1970–1975)
Opel Manta A (1970-1975)

In the spring of 1964 the captain got two big "brothers": the admiral and the diplomat . These "big three", which were then referred to as the "KAD" series ( Kapitän / Admiral / Diplomat ), completed the model range up to the summer of 1977. The 1960s and 1970s were the great heyday of the Opel company, which at the time was the second largest German automobile manufacturer after VW and even the market leader in some vehicle classes. On July 9, 1964, Opel delivered the five millionth car. Production in Bochum was in full swing: in 1965 half a million Kadett A were produced - just 21 months later, the successor Kadett B, the millionth car in the series, was delivered. In the same year, 1966, the Kaiserslautern branch was opened, which produced cardan shafts, shock absorbers and chassis parts. From autumn 1970, the Ascona mid-range car and its Manta coupé were in the range. Together with the successor models of the same name presented in the summer of 1975, over 3.2 million vehicles were produced. This makes the model series one of the most successful Opel products. The ten millionth Opel automobile, a Rekord C Caravan , rolled off the assembly line in Rüsselsheim in September 1971. In 1972, Opel was ahead of Volkswagen with a market share of 20.4% and, with almost 878,000 units, achieved the highest number of units since the start of car production in 1899. With 59,200 employees, Opel achieved an annual turnover of 6.5 billion DM this year, compared with 35,000 Employees and an annual turnover of 2.2 billion DM in 1962. In August 1973 the Kadett C was introduced, which from May 1975 as Kadett City like the Golf of the main competitor VW had a large tailgate. In the spring of 1976, the Kadett Aero with Targa roof made by Baur was added. The series thus comprised a total of five variants; more than other comparable models in the compact class. The value set in the summer of 1977 as the last representative of "KAD" series diplomat was in the spring of 1978 with the Senator an indirect successor, whose body from the record E was derived, and the first engines six-cylinder was offered exclusively. At the same time, Opel launched a Senator-based coupé with a large tailgate in the upper middle class, the Monza . However, the success of these two top models in the range was modest: the Monza was discontinued after eight years without a successor. The Senator was built after a model change in the summer of 1987 (now the Omega A served as the basis) until June 1993. Opel's top model was now the Omega B, which was offered from the beginning of 1994 to mid-2003 .

1980 to 2008: falling sales and quality problems

Opel Kadett D (1979–1984)

Between 1980 and 1982, the oil crisis caused by the First Gulf War caused a deep setback in the entire automotive industry , which was almost 20 percent worse than the Great Depression of 1929/30. Opel made losses for the first time since 1950: DM 411 million in 1980. Over 7,500 employees were laid off, some of them with severance payments. Only the new Kadett D with front-wheel drive sold satisfactorily. In the German small car market, which has been dominated by the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo since the mid-1970s, the Opel Corsa , which was offered in Germany from 1983, achieved success. The model is produced in the GM plant in Saragossa (Spain), which opened at the end of 1982 ; from 1993 to 2019 also at the German Opel plant in Eisenach .

In 1990 the Opel group employed 57,400 people with an annual turnover of 23.708 billion DM.

Opel Omega A (1986-1993)
Opel Manta B and Ascona B
Opel Astra F (1991-1998)

Since the late 1980s, a somewhat innovative design and the quality problems caused by the rigorous cost-cutting measures taken by Opel manager José Ignacio López de Arriortúa have led to a negative image development for the Opel brand, especially compared to its main competitor VW . The shortcomings known as the “López Effect” became particularly evident in the successors to the two volume models Rekord and Kadett , the Omega and Astra . After initially good sales figures, the reputation of the new cars and thus the Opel brand suffered from various product recalls. After López switched to Volkswagen in 1993, he was accused of taking internal documents from Opel / GM with him and using them at VW (López affair) . Errors in marketing, model development, production and quality assurance had plunged Opel into the worst crisis in the company's history since the early 1990s and Opel had to lay off many employees.

The lack of coordination between GM's European headquarters in Zurich, which was newly established in 1986, with the Opel management in Rüsselsheim, as well as the executives there who changed in rapid succession, mostly from GM's American parent company, increasingly caused failures in model policy and problems Production and quality assurance result. From the beginning of the 1970s to March 2013, 16 CEOs worked at Opel, seven of them German (Beickler, Herke, Forster, Demant, Stracke, Sedran, Neumann). The average length of stay was therefore less than 2½ years. For comparison: from 1948 to today (2016) Volkswagen AG (until 1960 a GmbH) had nine managing directors / chairmen of the board and Lufthansa, which was newly founded in 1954, only seven.

Opel Vectra B (1995-2002)

These errors caused Opel's share of new German passenger car registrations to drop to 6.93% in 2012. In relation to 1982 with 18.18% of all registrations, this was over 60 percent. A persistently poor economy also put pressure on the sales figures. The resulting billions in losses led to a drastic reduction in capacities and employees. At the Bochum plant , where of the original 23,000 jobs only around 6,000 were left, the workforce went on a strike that lasted several days in October 2004 and ended with partial success. In 2006, Adam Opel GmbH employed 27,661 people, compared to around 44,700 in 1996.

Since Opel shares are not listed on the stock exchange, Adam Opel AG was converted into a GmbH in order to reduce bureaucracy and to cut costs and was entered as such in the commercial register on December 7, 2005. Since autumn 2007, the export of the Astra sedan to the USA, where the model is sold under the Saturn brand , has supported the capacity utilization of the European plants. General Motors calculates that the Astra will have an export potential of between 20,000 and 100,000 copies.

2008 to 2010: Financial crisis and failed separation from General Motors

Opel Corsa D (2006-2014)
Opel Insignia A (2008-2017)

In 2008 the financial situation of General Motors worsened as a result of the financial crisis and, as a result, that of Opel due to uncollectible outstanding debts from the parent company. For this reason, Opel submitted a request to the federal government for a loan guarantee , and the government announced that it would have made a decision by Christmas 2008. At the end of November 2008, GM Europe boss Carl-Peter Forster announced that Opel should cut wages by at least 10 percent in the short term. At the beginning of 2009, General Motors left a restructuring concept for Opel open, but closings of Opel locations in Germany were ruled out for the time being.

On February 27, 2009 the Supervisory Board of Opel GmbH presented a future concept for the creation of a "European independent business unit" Opel (including Vauxhall ). Thereafter, the new European group of companies sought will remain part of the GM group, but with a new independence under company law. A “foreclosure concept” has been incorporated into the paper, so that GM is not able to withdraw any third-party deposits. This concept was handed over to the federal government on March 2nd. According to the concept, the newly created group will continue to require material input (patent use, development work) from GM and an additional capital contribution of 3.3 billion euros over the next one to 1½ years, which they would like to pay off again by 2014/2015. To this end, overcapacities are being reduced through socially acceptable severance payments, there should be no plant closings and operational layoffs. In return, the remaining staff are expected to continue to waive wages and salaries. The capital requirement can be provided by both the private and the state; Opel (new) prefers equity investments in the range of 25 to less than 50 percent. The concept is also open to a possible takeover of an individual production facility by a third party.

On March 31, 2009, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel declared in Rüsselsheim that an automobile plant was not "systemically relevant" in the sense of the functionality of the economy, but that efforts were still being made to save the Opel Group. A direct state participation is out of the question, but there could be loan guarantees if an investor wants to take over Opel. Otherwise, Opel is waiting for GM's restructuring plan, which must be presented to the American government by the end of May 2009, otherwise the US government would not want to let any more billions flow into the ailing GM group. In May 2009, the Italian automotive group Fiat , the automotive supplier Magna International together with the Russian bank Sberbank and the US financial investor Ripplewood Holdings, three serious interested parties for an Opel takeover appeared on the scene. All three interested parties submitted their takeover bids to the parent company GM and the federal government on time by May 20, 2009. The Chinese Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company also expressed its interest in Opel and had submitted a formal offer to take over. It said that there would be no downsizing and that the continued existence of the plants would be guaranteed. However, these guarantees were initially only valid for a period of 24 months. However, compared to the concepts of the competition, the Chinese demanded significantly less state aid.

Opel Astra J (2009-2015)
Opel Astra J GTC / OPC (2012-2018)
Opel Meriva B (2010-2017)

At the end of May 2009, the federal government announced that Magna (20%) and Sberbank (35%) had won the contract for Opel. In addition, the state-guaranteed bridging loan is in place, and a trustee is appointed to hold the Opel shares until an investor joins the company. The Canadian supplier plans to take over a majority stake together with the Russian Sberbank. On August 13, 2009, Magna reached an agreement with General Motors to take over Opel. After speculating beforehand that GM might even keep Opel, the federal government announced on September 10, 2009 that the GM board of directors had recommended selling 55% of its Opel shares to the bidder favored by the federal government, Magna, and the employees to participate with 10%. This was also approved by the Opel Treuhand. The EU Commission is currently examining the legality of the state aid granted by the federal government. The audit was initiated by three letters from the governments of Great Britain, Belgium and Spain. These three countries with non-German Opel locations have voiced the suspicion that the Magna solution could also involve politically motivated favoring the German locations at the expense of their locations. It was leaked from GM circles that it would be difficult to issue the “clean bill of health” required by the EU Commission for the Magna solution. On November 3, 2009, the sale of Opel to Magna was canceled. The US automaker General Motors (GM) is keeping its German subsidiary Opel. Three weeks after the cancellation, GM Europe boss Nick Reilly stated that the Rüsselsheim, Bochum, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern locations should be retained. He announced the cut of up to 5400 jobs in Germany. A total of around 9,000 jobs are to be cut across Europe and production capacity is to be reduced by 20 percent.

After General Motors paid back the state aid, the Opel Treuhandgesellschaft was dissolved on November 30, 2009 and its 65 percent stake in Adam Opel GmbH was transferred back to GM. Federal Minister of Economics Rainer Brüderle (FDP) rejected the 1.1 billion euro guarantee, which the parent company General Motors had applied for from the Deutschlandfonds, on June 9, 2010 after the committee's steering committee had not come to a conclusion. General Motors then withdrew all guarantee applications in Europe. General Motors emphasized that this will not change anything in the restructuring plan for Opel apart from the financing. Since August 2010, Opel grants except for the most commercial models Combo , Vivaro and Movano with new-vehicle sales contracts for Ersthalter addition to the two-year manufacturer warranty , which includes all material and labor costs, an extended warranty up to max. 160,000 km mileage according to the conditions of CG Car Garantie Versicherungs AG . The "lifelong" warranty costs an annual activation fee from the third year and is unlimited in time. In addition to the full wage costs for the warranty work for mileage over 50,000 km, it reimburses a proportion of the material costs. Opel discontinued this guarantee on October 31, 2011 and has since offered a two-year factory guarantee.

2011 to 2016: Conversion into a stock corporation and Karl-Thomas Neumann as CEO

Opel Adam (2012-2019)

At the beginning of 2011, Adam Opel GmbH was converted back into a stock corporation after the conversion in 2005 .

On April 10, 2013, the top management of GM announced that they intend to invest the equivalent of four billion euros in the German and European sites of Opel and Vauxhall by 2016. The money will be used for 23 new models and 13 new engines. It all started with the Mokka compact SUV and the Adam miniature car, as well as the Cascada convertible roof, which was released in April 2013 . With retroactive effect from July 1, 2014, General Motors transferred all of its activities in Europe and Russia to the newly founded Opel Group GmbH . With the exception of Michael Ableson ( Chief Development Officer ) and Ulrich Schumacher ( Chief Human Resources Officer), the previous Board of Management of Adam Opel AG will move to the Opel Group. Michael Ableson will act as CEO of Adam Opel AG in the future . As a holding company with 100 employees, the Opel Group will bear economic and business policy responsibility for all GM brands in Europe and Russia. Opel will also build future vehicles for the Buick (United States) and Holden (Australia and New Zealand) brands.

In 2016, Opel wanted to return to the black for the first time since 1999. However, due to Brexit and the subsequent weakening of the British pound, the target was missed.

2017: Takeover by Groupe PSA

Opel Insignia , since 2017
Opel Corsa-e , since 2019

In February 2017, the media reported about negotiations for the takeover by the French Groupe PSA . At the beginning of March 2017, the negotiating partners PSA and General Motors announced that the negotiations had been successful, according to which Groupe PSA would take over Adam Opel AG and the English brand Vauxhall Motors for around 1.3 billion euros if the cartel authorities agreed; the European financing business GM Financial will be taken over in a joint venture with BNP Paribas . The merger should take place by the end of 2017.

The European Commission gave its unconditional approval on July 5, 2017. In the course of the takeover by PSA, Adam Opel AG was converted back into a GmbH in spring 2017. The activities of Vauxhall and Opel have been bundled in Opel Automobile GmbH. The acquisition was completed on August 1, 2017.

In April 2018 , Opel terminated the contracts of all 1,600 European Opel dealers. However, the vast majority of dealers will receive new contracts. Parts of the development center were sold to the French engineering service provider Segula in August 2019 .

2018: Diesel manipulations

In October 2018 it became known that the Opel headquarters had been searched for evidence of exhaust gas fraud in diesel vehicles. Because of tampering with diesel engines, 100,000 vehicles from 2013 to 2016 should have been recalled. After an unsuccessful complaint from Opel in the second instance, the recall took place at the end of 2019.


Presentation of the vehicle range at the IAA 2005


Cover of the customer magazine through the ages

Opel was General Motors' main brand in Europe . The range of Vauxhall models in the United Kingdom does not differ from this, except for small variations in the range of body styles . Opel vehicles are also offered in North Africa , the People's Republic of China , Israel , Singapore , South Africa , Chile and the Middle East .

Outside of the sales areas mentioned, locally based sister companies often take over the sale and production of the otherwise identical vehicles. In Great Britain it is Vauxhall in Luton , which has stopped the production of self-developed models since the 1970s, in North America and China Buick and in all parts of the world until a few years ago Chevrolet , whereby since 2010 a large part of the older Opel models have been specially made vehicles developed for Chevrolet. Like many other manufacturers, Opel regularly publishes a customer magazine. It was initially called start - Das Opel-Magazin and now operates simply as Opel Magazin .

Chair / CEO

Overview of the number of employees in Germany
The former Opel plant in Bochum
Opel test center in Dudenhofen

From January 2010 to March 2011, Nick Reilly was managing director and chairman of Adam Opel GmbH / AG in addition to his role as GM European head. Rita Forst became the new head of development.

Chairwoman / managing director of
Adam Opel AG / GmbH since 1948
Surname From To Remarks
Edward W. Zdunek November 1948 February 1961
Nelson J. Stork February 1961 March 1966
L. Ralph Mason March 1966 1970
Alexander Cunningham 1970 January 1974
John P. McCormack February 1974 February 1976
James F. Waters March 1976 August 1980
Robert C. stamp September 1980 February 1982
Ferdinand Beickler February 1982 February 1986
Horst W. Herke February 1986 March 1989
Louis R. Hughes April 1989 June 1992
David J. Herman July 1992 June 1998
Gary Cowger June 1998 October 1998
Robert W. Hendry October 1998 March 2001
Carl-Peter Forster April 2001 June 2004
Hans Demant June 2004 January 2010
Nick Reilly January 2010 March 2011
Karl-Friedrich Stracke April 2011 July 2012
Thomas Sedran (acting) July 2012 February 2013
Karl-Thomas Neumann March 2013 July 2014 Change to the Opel Group
Michael Ableson (Board Spokesman) July 2014
Michael Lohscheller since June 2017

Vice President for Government Relations at Opel is the former managing director of Forsa Society for Social Research and Statistical Analysis mbH Joachim Koschnicke.

Locations and plants

Opel's largest plant in Rüsselsheim was converted into the “most modern automobile plant in the world” by 2002 for around 750 million euros. In addition to Rüsselsheim, the company also builds cars in Eisenach. Motors and components are also manufactured in Kaiserslautern. In addition, Opel has a test center in Dudenhofen and a test and event center in Pferdefeld . The GM plants in Azambuja (Portugal) and Antwerp (Belgium) with the production of Opel Combo and Astra were closed by General Motors in 2006 and 2010.

Name of
production site
Start or period of production and products Remarks Employee
Locations in Germany
Ruesselsheim 1898 Headquarters of Adam Opel AG
International Technical Development Center (ITEZ)
coordinates: 49 ° 59 '21 "  N , 8 ° 23' 27"  O test site Dudenhofen : 49 ° 59 '35 "  N , 8 ° 55' 25.1"  O

The annual capacity of the Rüsselsheim plant is 180,000 units.

14,180 (December 31, 2015)
Bochum 1962-2014 See also: Plant Bochum I , Plant Bochum II / III
  • The production of vehicles was the beginning of December 2014, with the outlet of the Zafira B ended.
3,300 (December 31, 2012)
Brandenburg / Havel 1935-1944 See also: Opel factory Brandenburg
destroyed by air raid in 1944; dismantled after 1945
Kaiserslautern 1966
  • Vehicle components for body, chassis and interior made of sheet metal and aluminum or plastic (for example side walls, hoods, axles and seat frames)
  • Engines:
    • Four-cylinder turbo diesel engines (1.9 liter displacement)
    • ECOTEC light-alloy engines (1.9 to 2.2 liters displacement) in several variants
In the past, chassis components were built for Opel models. Cardan shafts, clutches, brake cylinders, shock absorbers and parts for automatic transmissions completed the product range of the early days. Location for the future factory for battery cells Opel Giga-Factory 2,130 (December 31, 2015)
Opel plant Eisenach
1990 1,850 (December 31, 2015)
PSA subsidiaries outside Germany
Opel España
Figueruelas near Saragossa, Spain
1982 6,500
Vauxhall Motors Ltd
Ellesmere Port , United Kingdom
1963 2,100
Vauxhall Motors Plant Luton
Luton , United Kingdom
1905 Vauxhall Motors UK headquarters 1,100
Opel Wien GmbH
Vienna-Aspern , Austria
  • Engines
  • Transmission (F17 five-speed and M20 / 32 six-speed transmission)
approx. 1,600
Opel Szentgotthárd Kft.
Szentgotthárd , Hungary
1990 750
Opel Manufacturing Poland Sp. Z oo
Gliwice , Poland
1998 3,000
Groupe PSA

Sochaux, France

PSA plant

Vigo , Spain

PSA plant

Mangualde , Portugal


Kaluga , Russia

PSA plant

Hordain , France

GM subsidiaries outside Germany, contract manufacturing for foreign companies
ISPOL (Isuzu Motors Polska) Sp. Z oo
Tychy , Poland
  • Diesel engines
SOVAB ( Renault )
Batilly , Meurthe-et-Moselle department , France
1980 ?
Magyar Suzuki Zrt.
Esztergom , Hungary
1991 4,274 (2008)
Tofaş Türk Otomobil Fabrikası A.Ş
Bursa , Turkey
1980 8,200
GM Korea Company
Bupyeong-gu, Incheon , South Korea
1937 17,200
GM Korea Company
Changwon , South Korea
1991 (initially part of Daewoo, from around 2001 part of GM) ?
Shushari (St. Petersburg) , Russia
2008 1,200
General Motors Company
Detroit Hamtramck , USA
1985 1,350

New Opel registrations in Germany

year Number of
cars in absolute terms
Share of total
new car registrations
2018 227.967 6.60%
2017 243,715 7.08%
2016 243,792 7.27%
2015 229.352 7.15%
2014 219.084 7.21%
2013 207,461 7.03%
2012 213,627 6.93%
2011 254605 8.02%
2010 233,498 8.01%
2009 338,603 8.89%
2008 258.274 8.36%
2007 285.267 9.06%
2006 334.479 9.64%
2005 347.960 10.41%
2004 334.491 10.24%
2003 332.781 10.28%
2002 337,535 10.38%
2001 396.214 11.86%
2000 411.193 12.17%
1999 522.170 13.73%
1998 529.425 14.17%
1997 545.293 15.46%
1996 557.229 15.94%
1995 547,309 16.51%
1994 420,862 13.11%
1993 413.295 12.94%
1992 575.190 14.64%
1991 609,337 14.65%
1990 455,590 12.98%
1989 402.254 14.28%
1988 376.830 13.42%
1987 404.876 13.89%
1986 374.737 13.24%
1985 322.210 13.54%
1984 347.353 14.51%
1983 416.428 17.16%
1982 390,082 18.10%
1981 370.285 15.89%
1980 402.015 16.57%
1979 470,482 17.93%
1978 514.478 19.31%
1977 490.651 19.16%
1976 465.615 20.14%
1975 381.397 18.11%
1974 296.750 17.53%
1973 420,679 20.71%
1972 456.189 21.29%
1971 403.043 18.73%
1970 405,554 19.25%
1969 349,630 18.99%
1968 272.120 19.09%
1967 275,821 20.33%
1966 324,869 21.57%
1965 330,619 21.79%
1964 342,477 25.50%
1963 301,844 23.75%
1959 139,780 16.89%
1958 128,876 16.65%
1957 102.199 18.10%
1956 82,875 16.57%
1955 78.009 18.63%
1954 63,440 20.01%
1953 48,069 19.19%
1952 28,675 14.26%
1951 29,826 16.72%
1950 32,606 21.81%
1938 81,983
1937 75,803
1936 86,500
1935 77.126
1934 52,586
1933 28,494

History of the logo

The Zeppelin as a hood ornament on the Olympia

The first Opel logo after the company was founded consisted of the ornate letters A and O, the initials Adam Opels . The A was in bronze, the O in red.

From 1886 the goddess of victory Victoria and a cyclist were shown on the logo. This picture was surrounded by the inscription "Victoria Blitz", the name of one of the first Opel bicycles. From 1909 the name became the logo. A lively Opel lettering in gold adorned the motorcycles and automobiles. A year later the logo was changed again. From now on you could see a blue eye, surrounded by laurels, in which the word “Opel” was in capital letters.

From 1935 on, a stylized zeppelin was used , symbolizing progress, surrounded by a yellow ring that is supposed to represent a wheel. The zeppelin also appeared as a hood ornament, for example on the Olympia . Another logo was used from 1950, but it was not to be found on the vehicles, but was intended for the dealer organization. The Opel logo was on one half yellow and the other white oval .

In the 1960s, the zeppelin changed more and more to lightning. The lightning bolt has officially been the Opel logo since 1963. In 1970 the logo of the dealer organization was changed again, namely the lightning bolt with a ring on a yellow rectangle under which the word “Opel” could be seen. This official logo was surrounded by a black rectangle and appeared primarily on printed matter. In 1987 the Opel logo was modernized.

Since the 1960s, however, only the Opel Blitz without lettering had been affixed to the vehicles themselves, always in changing materials (shape or surface symbols) and proportions, even with models produced at the same time. For a long time, Opel did not consistently pursue the creation of a uniformity or CI .

The GTC Concept study presented in 2007 shows the previous Opel logo, with the word “Opel” engraved on the top of the ring. All new Opel models have had this logo since 2008. In June 2017 a new, two-dimensional logo was presented, which is supposed to symbolize “clarity and modernity”.


Clubs with the name Opel

The SC Opel Rüsselsheim is a football club with around 450 members from Rüsselsheim , which has an eventful history with the Opel company. The 1888 Opel Rüsselsheim cycling club is a cycling club from Rüsselsheim.


Opel is one of the first car manufacturers to operate “ viral marketing ” with the fictional band The CMONS. The band consists of the characters White, Red and Blue (male) and Moo and Cherri (female). They were designed by the German illustrator Boris Hoppek , who lives in Barcelona . The music comes from the (real existing) band The Outcomes . The CMONS are (as of 2020) no longer present in advertising.

Among other things, poster campaigns and contributions in online communities such as YouTube and Myspace drew attention to the CMONS . Particularly noteworthy is the collaboration with MTV . Opel is now also using the CMONS directly for Corsa advertising. Opel was a sponsor of the MTV Europe Music Awards 2006 on November 2, 2006 and the Corsa was the event's “official car”.

Opel advertised the Tigra in 1995 with a lavish commercial in which Franziska van Almsick literally dived into New York city ​​traffic .

The Opel Speedster was the subject of the film plot in the film comedy Viktor Vogel - Commercial Man . In the film, Götz George drove one of the two prototypes of the Opel GT Aero as a reminiscence of the Speedster, which was new at the time.

The song What a Wonderful World was used as background music for the Opel commercials for a number of years.

Opel was the shirt sponsor of the traditional Italian club AC Milan from 1994 to 2006 .


Model names

From the beginning of automobile production until 1930, the Opel models mostly had designations such as 4/12 PS . The number in front of the slash indicated the tax horsepower, the number after it indicated the actual power in hp . Exceptions were the first Opel, which was called the patented motor vehicle "System Lutzmann" , and the Opel Regent , 25 of which were produced in 1928.

After the takeover by General Motors in 1931, this rather complicated system was replaced by specifying the displacement ( e.g. 1.2 liters), which was only retained until 1937. An exception here was the Opel P4 , whose name indicates that it is a car for four people. The name of the Opel Olympia , which was produced from 1935, was chosen with a view to the 1936 Summer Olympics and was also adopted for the successor models.

The model designations from the late 1930s to the 1980s, which came from the marine sector (captain, admiral, cadet) and other official areas (diplomat, senator), were followed in the late 1980s by the change to name creations starting with “A "Ended, or" O "for the model names of the transporter models. The last model series to be renamed was that of the Opel Kadett , which was renamed the Opel Astra and thus followed the naming of the English sister models. The few exceptions to this name were the license-built Opel Monterey , the Opel Signum , the Opel Speedster and the Opel GT .

Since 2012, Opel has been using first names from the Opel founding family , such as Adam von Adam Opel and Karl von Carl Opel, for the small cars .

With the facelift of the Opel Mokka, the name of the SUV models is supplemented by an "X" ( Opel Mokka X , Opel Crossland X and Opel Grandland X ). The same logic emphasizes the electric drive of the Opel Ampera-e .

Key numbers

The Federal Motor Transport Office led Opel cars until the takeover by the Groupe PSA predominantly under the manufacturer key numbers (HSN) 0035 and 0039. The Movano was listed under the HSN 3041, most Frontera models were the Isuzu -HSN 2127 and some Corsa models listed under HSN 7526. The Opel GT 2.0 T was the only one to run under the GM -HSN 1006. Since the sale of Opel to Groupe PSA and the change of name to Opel Automobile GmbH, all newly registered Opel models have been listed under the HSN 1844.


Opel models from 1898 to 1944

Timeline of the Opel models from 1898 to 1944
class 80% sold in 1929, 100% sold to General Motors until 1931
1890s 1900s 10s 20s 30s 40s
8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th
Small car 4/8 hp
"doctor's car"
5/10 hp 4 PS / 4/12 PS / 4/14 PS / 4/16 PS / 4/18 PS / 4/20 PS / 1.1 liter "Tree Frog" 1.0 liter
Lower middle class "Lutzmann" 9 hp 8/9 hp 5/12 PS / 5/14 PS "Puppchen" 1.2 liters P4 Cadet
1.3 liters Olympia
Middle class 12 hp 9/10 hp
10/12 hp / 8/14 hp 6/12 hp / 6/14 hp 6/16 hp 8M21 7/34 hp 8/40 hp 1.8 liters 6 / 2.0 liters
upper middle class 14 hp 8/16 hp 8/20 hp 8/22 hp 9/25 hp / 8/25 hp 9/30 hp Super 6 captain
12/14 hp 10/30 hp /
10/35 hp
10/40 hp / 10/45 hp / 10/50 hp
Upper class 10/18 hp 10/20 hp 10/24 hp / 10/25 hp / 10/28 hp 12/34 hp
16/18 hp 14/20 hp / 14/22 hp 13/30 hp 14/30 hp / 14/34 hp / 14/38 hp / 14/48 hp 12/50 hp  / 15/60 hp 14/50 hp / 3.7 liters / 16/60 hp / 4.2 liters admiral
20/22 hp 15/24 hp 16/35 hp 18/40 hp 20/45 hp 18/50 hp
30/32 hp 25/30 hp 18/30 hp / 18/32 hp 21/45 hp 21/55 hp / 21/50 hp 24/110 hp Regent
35/40 hp 25/40 hp 24/50 hp 25/55 hp
45/50 hp 32/50 hp 29/50 hp 30/50 hp 28/70 hp 29/70 hp 30/75 hp / 30/80 hp
33/60 hp 35/60 hp 34/65 hp 34/80 hp
40/100 hp
Trucks 1½ t 3½ t P4 delivery truck
4½ t 2½ t lightning
  • "System Lutzmann" - Lutzmann licensing
  • "System Darracq" - cooperation with Darracq
  • Opel models from 1945

    Timeline of the Opel models from 1945 to today
    class Body versions Part of General Motors PPE
    40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 2000s 2010s 2020s
    5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0
    Microcar Hatchback Karl
    Hatchback Adam
    Small car Hatchback Corsa A Corsa B Corsa C Corsa D Corsa E Corsa F
    Sports coupe Tigra A Tigra B
    Compact class Hatchback, notchback, station wagon Chevette
    Cadet A. Cadet B. Cadet C. Cadet D. Cadet E. Astra F Astra G Astra H Astra J. Astra K
    Olympia Olympia A Ampera Ampera-e
    Coupe Cadet A. Cadet B / Olympia A Cadet C. Astra G Coupé / OPC Astra H GTC / OPC Astra J GTC
    Cabriolet Astra G convertible Astra H TwinTop Cascada
    Middle class Sports coupe Manta A Manta B Calibra
    Hatchback Signum
    Hatchback, notchback, station wagon Olympic record Olympic record / 1200 Ascona A Ascona B Ascona C Vectra A Vectra B Vectra C Insignia A Insignia B
    upper middle class Notchback, station wagon Record P1 / P2 Record A / B Record C Record D Record E Omega A Omega B
    Commodore A Commodore B Commodore C.
    Senator A. Senator B
    Coupe Record A / B Record C Record D Monza
    Commodore A Commodore B
    Upper class Notchback captain captain Captain P1 / P2 Captain A /
    Admiral A /
    Diplomat A
    Captain B /
    Admiral B /
    Diplomat B
    Sports car GT Speedster GT
    Microvan Hatchback Agila A Agila B
    Minivan Meriva A Meriva B
    Compact van Zafira A Zafira B Zafira C
    Van Sintra
    SUV Hatchback Crossland X
    mocha Mocha X mocha
    Antara Grandland X
    Off-road vehicle Hatchback Frontera A Frontera B
    Pick up Campo
    Box van Cadet E Combo Combo B
    High roof combination Station wagon, panel van Combo C Combo D Combo E
    Vans Minibus, van, flatbed Bedford Blitz Arena [1] Vivaro A [2] Vivaro B [2] Zafira Life
    Vivaro C
    lightning lightning lightning lightning Movano A [1] Movano B [1]
  • of British GM subsidiary Vauxhall made
  • manufactured by American GM companies
  • of Daewoo Motors or GM Korea prepared
  • of Isuzu manufactured (1971-2006 GM was involved in Isuzu)
  • of Lotus produced (1986-1993 Lotus was owned by GM)
  • in collaboration with Suzuki produced (1981-2008 GM was involved in Suzuki)
  • of Fiat produced (2000-2005 GM was involved in Fiat, from the time comes, the SCCS platform evolution)
  • in cooperation with Renault Nissan prepared: [1] manufactured led by Renault, [2] under the command of Vauxhall made
  • in collaboration with PSA produced
  • Model history

    Construction period
    Produced vehicles
    model series annotation image


    2012-2019 Adam The Adam is based on the shortened platform of the Corsa D and has been rolling off the production line in Eisenach, Thuringia, since the end of 2012. Opel's first small car celebrated its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. Opel Adam 1.4 Slam - front view, January 15, 2014, Düsseldorf.jpg
    2015-2019 Karl The successor to the Agila has been on the market since mid-2015 and is named after Carl von Opel, a son of the company's founder Adam Opel. After Adam, he is the second Opel to have a first name from the Opel family. It is produced in Changwon (Korea) by GM Korea . In contrast to the lifestyle-oriented Adam, the Karl is intended to appeal to customers who think economically. Opel Karl 1.0 ecoFLEX Exklusiv - front view, October 28, 2015, Düsseldorf.jpg

    Small car

    1975-1982 Chevette The Chevette was offered as a cheaper car from autumn 1980 to spring 1982 after the Kadett C was phased out and before the Corsa A was launched. Except for the modified front section, the vehicle corresponded to the Kadett C and was manufactured by Vauxhall . Vauxhall Chevette 4 door notchback Trumpington.jpg
    1982-1993 Corsa A First small car from Opel, which was initially only available with two doors with a notchback or three-door with a hatchback. From spring 1985 both variants were available with two additional doors. In the summer of 1987 the notchback was canceled in this country. In autumn 1990, Opel subjected the Corsa to a facelift. Opel Corsa A front 20080131.jpg
    1993-2000 Corsa B The Corsa B was created on the basis of the Opel Junior concept , which was introduced in 1983. The three and five-door models differed for the first time in the shape of the rear. This Corsa was the most successful small car in Germany in the 1990s. Opel Corsa front 20080417.jpg
    1994-2001 Tigra A The Tigra was a sports coupe that on the Corsa B based. On offer were two gasoline engines with 1.4 and 1.6 l displacement. The latter was only available until the summer of 1998, while the smaller with 1.4 l displacement was available until the end of production in July 2001. Opel Tigra front 20071212.jpg
    2000-2006 Corsa C A further development of the successful predecessor. The different rear shapes of the three and five-door hatchbacks were abandoned. The Corsa C also served as the basis for the Tigra TwinTop convertible, the Meriva minivan and the Combo C panel van. There was a small facelift in summer 2003. Opel Corsa C 1.2 Elegance front 20100912.jpg
    2004-2009 Tigra TwinTop B A roadster based on the Corsa C and equipped with a retractable steel roof. The production took place in France at Heuliez . Opel Tigra TwinTop - front view (1), August 14, 2011, Heiligenhaus.jpg
    2006-2014 Corsa D For the Corsa D introduced in autumn 2006, Opel used the platform of the Fiat Grande Punto introduced in autumn 2005. The three- and five-door models differed again in the shape of the rear. Technical and external modifications came at the end of 2010. Opel Corsa 1.4 ecoFLEX Satellite (D, Facelift) - front view, July 31, 2012, Heiligenhaus.jpg
    2014-2019 Corsa E Production of the Corsa E began in November 2014. This series is not a completely new model, but an extensively revised version of the predecessor Corsa D. The shape of the vehicle is based on the smaller Adam . The market launch was in January 2015. Opel Corsa 1.4 Turbo ecoFLEX Color Edition (E) - front view, October 24, 2015, Münster.jpg
    since 2019 Corsa F A new development in contrast to the Corsa E. It is the first Corsa based on a PSA kit. The Corsa F is only offered as a five-door model. The technical basis is also used by the Peugeot 208 II . Opel Corsa F IMG 3236.jpg
    since 2019 Corsa-e The first Corsa with an electric motor (100 kW / 136 PS). It is the electrified version of the Corsa F. Therefore, the technology is also used in the Peugeot e-208 . Opel Corsa-e at IAA 2019 IMG 0477.jpg

    Compact class

    Olympia A modified pre-war model from 1935 and the first Opel car after the war. Modernized in 1950, for example with a different grille. Opel Olympia.jpg
    Cadet A. The first post-war Kadett was produced in the new Opel plant in Bochum , which was specially built for this purpose . It was available as a two-door sedan, three-door station wagon (caravan) and coupe. After the revision in mid-1964, it had a slightly more angular front. Opel Kadett A.jpg
    Cadet B. Further development of the previous model, available for the first time as a four-door and hatchback sedan (from 1967). Technical revisions also followed in 1967 (changed rear axle, upgraded interior). It was a best seller and at times ranked first among new registrations ahead of the VW Beetle. From August 1967 to July 1970, the Kadett B was produced with a different front end and better equipped than the Opel Olympia . Opel Kadett B Automatic Front.jpg
    Cadet C. New body with largely unchanged technology from its predecessor. Additional models for the two- and four-door sedans and the station wagon were the Kadett City with a large tailgate (photo) and the Aero , a Targa convertible that was built by Baur in Stuttgart. The headlights were round on the basic model and square on the L model. From the facelift in the summer of 1977, they were square on all models, with the indicators being relocated next to the headlights. The Kadett C was the basis of many GM models in Asia, Australia and America, some of which were produced until 1990. Opel Kadett (10247034615) .jpg
    Cadet D. New development, first Opel with front-wheel drive . The sober, modern body is very different from its predecessors. Versions: hatchback (with large or small tailgate), station wagon and van (station wagon without rear side windows). For the first time also available with a diesel engine. Opel Kadett D 1v sst.jpg
    Cadet E. The body became rounder and more aerodynamic. The Kadett E was very successful and available in many versions: three- and five-door with hatchback, four-door with notchback, three- or five-door station wagon, convertible and high roof wagon combo . From 1994 it was built with a modified body as Daewoo Nexia in Korea. Opel Kadett Kombi front 20080224.jpg
    1991-2000 Astra F New development, for the first time also available with a driver airbag. The name Astra comes from Vauxhall , which was the name of the Kadett in Great Britain back in the 1980s . At times, sales were almost as large as that of the VW Golf III . Body versions: three / five-door with hatchback, notchback, as a caravan and convertible (designed and built by Bertone). Here, too, there was a sporty GSi variant. The Astra F was redesigned in late summer 1994. Astra F GSi 16V (C20XE) 1993.JPG
    1998-2005 Astra G Completely redesigned model. It was again available with three and five doors with hatchbacks, notchbacks and as a caravan. In addition, the sporty models were now called OPC instead of GSi. Another body variant was the coupé produced by Bertone in Italy from late summer 2000 . It was seen as the unofficial successor to the Calibra . According to the manufacturer, however, it was the successor to the Kadett C Coupé. However, its market success was disappointing. The convertible followed in spring 2001. Opel Astra Caravan 1.6 16V Selection (G) - front view, May 28, 2011, Düsseldorf.jpg
    2004-2010 Astra H New development on the Delta platform from General Motors. A successful model that already exceeded the million mark in 2006. Body styles: five-door, station wagon, three-door (GTC) and hardtop convertible (twin top) and notchback. The latter variant was initially only available in Eastern and Southern Europe and Asia from the end of 2006, and from October 2008 it was also available in Germany. The revised Astra H came onto the market in early 2007 . Opel Astra H Caravan 1.9 CDTI front.JPG
    2009-2015 Astra J. The redesigned and fourth edition came onto the market in December 2009, initially as a five-door hatchback sedan. The station wagon (like the Insignia now Sports Tourer ) was introduced in November 2010, while the three-door GTC followed in January 2012. In September 2012, the five-door and station wagon received a facelift, with a notchback sedan again completing the range. Opel Astra GTC 1.4 Turbo ecoFLEX Edition (J) - front view, October 20, 2012, Heiligenhaus.jpg
    2011-2016 Ampera Opel's first electric hybrid vehicle, which was created together with GM's sister model Chevrolet Volt . Opel Ampera ePionier Edition - front view, July 9, 2012, Heiligenhaus.jpg
    since 2015 Astra K In October 2015, the fifth generation of the Astra came on the market, available as a hatchback sedan and a sports tourer station wagon. In 2019 he got a facelift. Opel Astra K at IAA 2019 IMG 0473.jpg
    since 2017 Ampera-e Opel's first electric car based on the Chevrolet Bolt . Opel Ampera-E Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris 2016 009 trimmed.jpg

    Middle class

    1959-1962 Opel 1200 To round off the program, Opel continued to produce an economy version of the P1 as the Opel 1200 even after the Rekord P2 was released , until the Kadett came onto the market in 1962 . 2007-07-15 Rear view of an Opel Rekord P1 1200 IMG 3030.jpg
    Olympia A Between the summer of 1967 and mid-1970 upgraded models were luxurious Kadett B , mostly with the currently strongest available engines, under the name Olympia A offered. 1968-Opel-Olympia.jpg
    Ascona A In order to fill the gap between the Kadett and the Rekord , Opel brought a completely new vehicle onto the market in the fall of 1970. This market segment was mainly dominated by the Ford Taunus . A station wagon (Voyage) was also offered. Opel Ascona A 1974.jpg
    Manta A It was a five-seat sports coupé based on the Ascona A , one of the most famous Opel models of the 1970s and the answer to the Capri from competitor Ford. Opel Manta (6073608394) .jpg
    1975-1981 Ascona B The Ascona B was available after the factory holidays from August 1975 and initially had the well-known and proven in-line four-cylinder engines with 60–90 hp. New engines with overhead camshafts followed in 1979 . A variant of this vehicle was sold in Great Britain as the Vauxhall Cavalier from 1976 . Ascona B right.jpg
    Manta B The Manta B , based on the Ascona B, achieved great popularity and was the longest built Opel model. From autumn 1978 it was also available as a Combi-Coupé Manta CC with a large tailgate. 1975 Opel Manta B Heck.jpg
    1981-1988 Ascona C The Ascona C was after the Kadett D the second Opel model with front wheel drive and based on the international J platform of General Motors . In the autumn of 1984 and in the summer of 1986 the series received slight modifications. Also available as a station wagon in Great Britain under the name Cavalier and built by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia. Opel Ascona C front 20130104.jpg
    1988-1995 Vectra A The Vectra A was a new development with front-wheel drive. The notchback sedan was first introduced in autumn 1988, followed by the hatchback variant in spring 1989. In the late summer of 1992 it received a facelift, with the Opel emblem moving from the bonnet back into the radiator grille. Opel Vectra front 20071109.jpg
    1989-1997 Calibra The sports coupé based on the Vectra A came onto the market in spring 1990 and was to build on the success of the Manta . Particularly outstanding were the C w value of 0.26 , which was then considered to be low, and the very narrow triple ellipsoid (DE) headlights (only 70 mm high). The Calibra was also produced in Finland. The coupé received a slight facelift in the summer of 1994. Opel Calibra rear 20071212.jpg
    1995-2002 Vectra B For the first time since the Ascona A, the Vectra B was a mid-range car, which was available as a station wagon (caravan) from autumn 1996 . A facelift followed in early 1999. Opel vectra b.jpg
    2002-2008 Vectra C New generation of vehicles with a timed design and lots of electronics. First came the notchback sedan in spring 2002 and the sporty hatchback model in late summer. From late summer 2003 it was also back in the range as a spacious caravan . However, the success fell far short of the hopes, so a comprehensive facelift followed in mid-2005 with a heavily redesigned front based on the Astra H with a redesigned interior. Opel Vectra C Caravan Facelift front 20100711.jpg
    2003-2008 Signum A variant of the Vectra C marketed as a new vehicle class and with a long wheelbase like the Vectra Caravan, but with two single seats at the rear and a shorter body. This model also received the extensive facelift of the Vectra . Opel Signum rear 20090919.jpg
    2008-2017 Insignia A The successor to the Vectra came onto the market in October 2008 and was initially offered as a notch and hatchback sedan. The station wagon version followed in March 2009 and is no longer called a caravan, but a Sports Tourer . The Insignia also received the award for “Car of the Year” 2009. A revised model appeared in late summer 2013, which has also been available as a station wagon with an off-road look since the end of the same year. Opel Insignia 20090717 front.jpg
    2013-2019 Cascada A convertible with a soft top on the platform of the Astra J, but also with technical components from the Insignia. Opel therefore wants to position it as an independent model. Opel Cascada 1.6 EDIT Innovation - rear view, March 23, 2014, Düsseldorf.jpg
    since 2017 Insignia B The Insignia B replaced the Insignia A in summer 2017. It is available as a hatchback sedan , station wagon, country tourer with an off-road look and as a sports version GSi. In the engine program, gasoline and diesel engines are available in 3 power levels each. All-wheel drive is tied to the most powerful engine variants. Opel Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 Diesel Business Innovation (B) - front view, May 5, 2017, Düsseldorf.jpg

    upper middle class

    1953-1957 Olympic record The Olympic Record was Opel's first new development after the Second World War. As with the captain presented a little later in autumn 1953, his pontoon body was similar to US models. Opelrekord.jpg
    1957-1960 Record P1 The P1 was more modern than its predecessor in every way. The P in the name stood for the panorama windows at the front and back. The Rekord P1 was available as a two- and four-door sedan, a station wagon (caravan) and delivery van (without a window in the cargo area), which made it very popular with families and craftsmen. Opel Olympia Rekord P1 Kombi 2012-09-01 14-29-57.JPG
    1960-1963 Record P2 Heavily revised body with a less “baroque” design and largely unchanged technology. A somewhat disproportionate coupé ("racing trunk") was also in the program. 1962 Opel 17R4 pic4.JPG
    1963-1965 Record A New model with a very straight and sober shape. With him and the Kadett A , Opel introduced the designations for the following model series using letters in alphabetical order. Opel Rekord A front 20091211.jpg
    1965-1966 Record B The Rekord B was a transitional model that already received the new CIH engines, but also the largely unchanged body and chassis of the predecessor with a rigid rear axle guided on leaf springs. REKORD-B-2.JPG
    1966-1972 Record C The Rekord C got a renewed body with a typical "hip swing" in the area of ​​the C-pillar and an improved chassis with a coil-sprung rear rigid axle on four trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Like its predecessor, it is also available as a coupé and station wagon ( caravan ). The Rekord C was the most successful Opel in this class. It rolled off the production line in Brazil until 1990. Opel Rekord 1900 L, manufactured in 1971 (2009-05-01 - retu) 2.jpg
    1967-1971 Commodore A An upgraded Rekord C, which offered space for six-cylinder engines with up to 150 hp (2.5 GS / E) in its extended front end. The Commodore A was available as a sedan and a coupé. A station wagon version presented in 1968 remained a one-off. Opel Commodore (4654095929) .jpg
    1971-1977 Record D The shape of the Rekord D was again "more European". The car was initially called "Rekord II" to avoid confusion that it was only available as a diesel vehicle. In fact, the Rekord D was also available with a diesel engine from autumn 1972 . Available as a sedan, caravan (station wagon) and coupé. Opel Rekord D front 20090810.jpg
    1972-1977 Commodore B The six-cylinder version of the Rekord D , renewed in spring 1972 , was also built as a sedan and coupé. 1977 Opel COMMODORE AUTOMATIC pict3.JPG
    1977-1982 Record E1 The Rekord E got a new body and front axle, but otherwise retained the technology of its predecessor. The last time a record was offered as a two-door sedan, this was only built until mid-1981 with the “Berlina” equipment. Opel Rekord E1 light yellow.jpg
    1978-1982 Commodore C. In addition to the Rekord E with four-cylinder engines, there was also the six-cylinder Commodore with the Senator's front, which was discontinued in August 1982 (the two-door model in mid-1981) in his favor. As the only Commodore , it was also available as a luxurious station wagon with the name Voyage from spring 1981 . 20170212145907! 1979 Opel Commodore C 2.5 S Automatic (8781626344) .jpg
    1982-1986 Record E2 The Rekord E2 was a revised model in autumn 1982 with a new front design. The engines were taken over almost unchanged, only the 2.2-liter injection engine with 115 hp introduced in autumn 1984 was new and the top of the engine range. In addition to the only four-door sedan, there was a choice of three or five-door station wagons ( caravan ) and the rare three-door panel van. Opel Rekord E2 front 20081127.jpg
    1978-1986 Senator A. The Senator A replaced the higher-positioned Opel KAD B series in the spring of 1978 . It was based on the Rekord E , but no longer had the rear “five-link” rigid axle , but a modern semi- trailing arm axle and more powerful engines with up to three liters of displacement and 180 hp. The changes made at the end of 1982 brought it closer to the E2 record . Opel Senator CD.jpg
    1978-1986 Monza The Monza was a sports coupé based on the Senator and, together with it, was the most powerful Opel model at the time. Towards the end of 1982 he received the new united front at the same time as the E2 and Senator record . From autumn 1983 the Monza GSE was available, which could optionally be supplied with LCD displays in the instrument panel and black instead of chrome strips and a sports chassis. The GSE was only available with the 3-liter engine. which from summer 1985 could also be ordered with a catalytic converter and 156 hp (115 kW) instead of 180 hp (132 kW). OPEL-VAUX-MONZA-A-FACELIFT.jpg
    1986-1993 Omega A A completely newly developed generation of vehicles with the latest technology at the time, which shared a platform with the Senator B. It was available with four- and six-cylinder engines as a four-door notchback sedan and five-door station wagon ( caravan ). A slight facelift followed in autumn 1990. Opel Omega front 20071007.jpg
    1987-1993 Senator B The Senator B , built from the summer of 1987, was based on the Omega A introduced the previous year . Sales of the second generation got worse and worse over time, so that Opel decided to discontinue the series. From mid-1993, the upper middle class was occupied exclusively by the Omega . Opel Senator B front 20080102.jpg
    1994-2003 Omega B Inside and out, the second generation was larger than its predecessor. The Omega B was available with new engines, airbags and diesel engines. Despite an initially successful initial phase and a more extensive revision in the summer of 1999, prolonged quality problems, marketing errors and the long running time led to increasingly poor sales. Production was therefore discontinued in mid-2003 without replacement. Opel Omega II 2.2i Facelift front 20100509.jpg

    Upper class

    1948-1953 Captain '48 The first captain after the war was an almost unchanged pre-war model from 1938. In the spring of 1951 there were some retouching, for example a new radiator grille. National oldtimerdag Zandvoort 2010, 1950 OPEL KAPITAN pic6.JPG
    1953-1955 Captain '54 First post-war design by Opel (together with the Olympia Rekord ), with a pontoon shape and an American-style “shark's mouth” radiator grille. Opel Kapitan R 1955.jpg
    1955-1958 Captain '56 / '57 Basically a modified Kapitän '54, but with more equipment, a stronger engine, a new radiator grille made of vertical bars and indicated tail fins. Opel Kapitän, Bj.1956am20050717.jpg
    1958-1959 Captain P 2.5 In dream car style with panoramic windows. He is also known as the “keyhole captain” because of the shape of the rear lights. Opel kapitan 1950s 2.jpg
    1959-1963 Captain P 2.6 The captain P 2.6, introduced in the summer of 1959, was revised analogous to the record P2. The new body had flatter, stretched lines with an even larger panoramic windscreen. The lowered rear roof line, which was criticized in the predecessor, was changed to make it easier to get in at the rear. Opel Kapitaen P 2,6.jpg
    1964-1968 Captain / Admiral / Diplomat A
    (KAD A)
    New development in an emphatically factual and imposing style with a large rear overhang. The "big three" were almost identical in appearance and technology, but differed in terms of equipment and engines. The Diplomat A was also available as a coupé from the beginning of 1965 to mid-1967, although only 347 of these were manufactured by Karmann. Opel 50 Years of Design (14541646973) .jpg
    1969-1977 Captain / Admiral / Diplomat B
    (KAD B)
    The body of the KAD B series presented in March 1969 was even heavier. The captain and admiral had broadband spotlights on the side of the grille. The diplomat was different from the other two models externally through, similar to the larger Mercedes-Benz models, slightly protruding headlights, here with nearly square lenses. From 1973 it was also available as a V8 long version. Despite the complex technology, this series was hardly in demand. The Kapitän was only produced until spring 1970, the Admiral until mid-1976. The Diplomat was the last Opel in the luxury class to be hired in the summer of 1977. Opel 50 Years of Design (14520113944) .jpg

    Sports car

    GT Two-seat coupe on the underbody of the Kadett B . Special feature: folding headlights . Opel GT 2012-09-01 14-23-06.JPG
    Intermeccanica Indra Convertible and Coupé based on the Diplomat V8 . Saxony Classic Rallye 2010 - Intermeccanica Indra 1972 (aka) .jpg
    Speedster Sports car based on the Lotus Elise S2 , manufactured by Lotus. Opel Speedster 22 v03.jpg
    GT Revival of the name Opel GT after 34 years, this time as a two-seater roadster based on the Kappa platform from GM and identical to the Saturn Sky . OPEL-SATURN-PONTIAC-GT-SKY-SOLTICE.jpg


    2000-2007 Agila A The Agila A produced with Opel engines at the Opel plant in Gliwice (Gleiwitz, Poland) is identical to the Suzuki Wagon R + . Opel Agila A 1.2 Njoy.JPG
    2007-2014 Agila B The second Agila model has engines from Suzuki or Opel / Fiat and was manufactured as a sister model of the Suzuki Splash by Magyar Suzuki in Esztergom (Hungary). Opel Agila 1.2 ecoFLEX Edition (B) - front view, April 7, 2011, Velbert.jpg


    2003-2009 Meriva A In contrast to the larger Zafira , the Meriva is based on the Corsa C and offers a maximum of five seats. At the beginning of 2006 there were slight design changes and a more powerful engine with 180 hp (Meriva OPC). Opel Meriva Facelift 20090812 front.JPG
    2010-2017 Meriva B Further development of the Meriva A with the so-called Flex doors that open in opposite directions. For the first time in this class, there are technically high-quality innovations, such as the halogen cornering and turning lights, back-friendly seats with the AGR seal of approval, Radio 900 Europe navigation system and the fully integrated FlexFix bike carrier system . Opel Meriva 1.4 Style (B, Facelift) - front view, October 24, 2015, Münster.jpg
    since 2017 Crossland X It was renamed to incorporate it into the crossover family (Mokka X, Grandland X). The vehicle shares the platform with the second generation Citroën C3 Aircross from the PSA Group. 2017 Opel Crossland X front (red) 3 crop.jpg

    High roof combination

    1986-1993 Combo A A high-roof station wagon based on the Kadett E , which was also the first from Opel. The first combo was only available as a panel van. Opel Kadett Combo 1.7 D Heck.JPG
    1993-2001 Combo B The second generation of leisure activity vehicle based now on the Corsa B and no longer on the Kadett E . Opel has only been running the Combo as an independent model since autumn 1993 . Here the combo can be seen as a panel van.
    2001-2011 Combo C A high-roof version of the Corsa C produced from summer 2001 to early 2011 . From 2007 it rolled off the assembly line in Saragossa (Spain), before that the production facility was in Azambuja (Portugal). Opel Combo C Tour 1.7 DTI front 20100808.jpg
    2011-2018 Combo D Another high-roof station wagon from Opel, but on the platform of the Fiat Doblò II introduced in early 2010. It has been produced in Bursa / Turkey since the end of 2011. Opel Combo 1.6 CDTI Edition (D) - front view, March 18, 2012, Wuppertal.jpg
    since 2018 Combo Life (Combo E) The fifth generation of the Combo is now based on the PSA Group's EMP2 platform. The vehicle is based on the Citroën Berlingo and the Peugeot Rifter . 2018 Opel Combo Life Leonberg IMG 0158.jpg

    Compact van

    1999-2005 Zafira A The Zafira A is based on the Astra G, but has a modified body with a shortened bonnet and seven variably configurable seats. It received small design changes in early 2003, and it was also available as a sporty OPC variant with 192 hp. Opel Zafira OPC Line package (A, Facelift) - front view, October 12, 2013, Düsseldorf.jpg
    2005-2014 Zafira B The second generation on the platform of the Astra H got new diesel engines from 100 to 150 HP (1.9 liters) with common rail injection. At the beginning of 2008, minor changes to the body and modified engines followed. Opel Zafira (B, Facelift) - front view, September 7, 2013, Münster.jpg
    2011-2019 Zafira Tourer C The third generation with a new additional name has the floor pan of the Astra J and is the first Opel model with radar-based distance control. The predecessor remained in the range until the end of 2014 under the name Zafira "Family". Opel Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTI Innovation (C) - front view, 23 May 2013, Heiligenhaus.jpg


    1996-1999 Sintra First Opel van based on the GM vehicles Chevrolet Venture and Pontiac TransSport . After the publication of very poor crash test and braking tests, the already moderate sales success continued to decline. The model was taken off the market in spring 1999. OPEL-VAUX-SINTRA-A.jpg


    1973-1986 Bedford Blitz The minibus was taken over by Bedford and built by Vauxhall . The Bedford Blitz was not very successful in Germany. Bedford blitz v sst.jpg
    1997-2000 arena First minibus in eleven years since the end of the Bedford Blitz. However, this was identical to the Renault Trafic, which had been available since 1980 Opel arena passenger side.jpg
    2001–2014, 2014–2019 Vivaro Combi / Tour / Life More modern model, which was created in cooperation with Renault-Nissan and is identical to Renault Trafic and Nissan Primastar or Nissan NV300 and from 2016 Fiat Talento . The second generation was introduced in summer 2014. Opel Vivaro Combi 1.6 BiTurbo CDTI ecoFLEX (B) - front view, October 7, 2015, Düsseldorf.jpg
    since 2019 Zafira Life Is a large-capacity van based on the EMP2 PSA platform . The basis for the Zafira Life is provided by Peugeot Traveler , Citroën Spacetourer and Toyota Proace Verso . It is built at Vauxhall in Luton. Opel Zafira Life at IAA 2019 IMG 0689.jpg

    Off-road vehicle

    1991-1998 Frontera A First Opel brand off-road vehicle, produced in Great Britain by IBC Vehicles , formerly Bedford . Like the Monterey, it was built under license from Isuzu. The engines came (at least initially) from the Omega A. Body versions: three (sport) and five-door hatchbacks and a convertible with a fabric roof. Opel Frontera B vl blue short.jpg
    1998-2004 Frontera B In autumn 1998 the Opel Frontera B appeared. Like its predecessor (Frontera A), the vehicle was available with three doors and a short wheelbase (Frontera Sport) or five doors and a long wheelbase (Frontera). Production in Great Britain ceased in early 2004. Opel Frontera front 20080730.jpg
    1992-1999 Monterey The Opel Monterey was built from 1992 to 1999 and shared its shape with the Isuzu Trooper . Like the Frontera, it was offered as a three-door RS version and a five-door long version. It received a facelift in the spring of 1998, in which the front was made a bit friendlier and rounder and the engine range was slightly revised. Opel stopped importing the Monterey in spring 1999. From January 2000 Isuzu took over the sales in Germany again. The Opel Monterey is based on the Isuzu Trooper.


    2006-2015 Antara The Antara came on the market in autumn 2006 and is the indirect successor to the Frontera. The power range extends from the two-liter diesel with 120 hp to the 3.2-liter V6 petrol engine with 227 hp. The vehicle was built at GM Daewoo in South Korea and from the end of 2008 also at the new GM plant in Schuschary in a suburb of Saint Petersburg (Russia). Production ended in spring 2015. Opel Antara 2.0 CDTI front 20100516.jpg
    2012-2019 Mocha / Mocha X In autumn 2012, the Mokka, another SUV from Opel, appeared on the Corsa D platform. It is available with two petrol (85 and 103 kW) and two diesel engines (96 and 100 kW). It is built in Incheon (South Korea) and in Saragossa. With the facelift in spring 2016, the name was changed to Mokka X. The engine range was expanded to include a direct-injection petrol engine with 112 kW. Externally, there were visual changes. Opel Mokka 1.4 Turbo ecoFLEX Innovation - front view, October 13, 2015, Düsseldorf.jpg
    since 2017 Grandland X At the IAA 2017, Opel presented the Grandland X, an SUV based on the Peugeot 3008 . The vehicle has been on sale since October 2017. From summer 2019, the Grandland X will also be available as a plug-in hybrid, and with the plug-in hybrid there is also all-wheel drive thanks to the electric rear axle. Opel Grandland X IMG 0371.jpg
    from 2020 Mocha B The second generation of the mocha was presented in June 2020. It is now based on the Common Modular Platform (CMP) of the PSA Group. With the Mokka-e, a battery-powered version is also available.

    commercial vehicles

    1932-1954 lightning The first-generation flash came on the market in numerous variants. The new Opel factory in Brandenburg , built in 1935, produced the 3-ton truck primarily for the Wehrmacht . From 1944 to 1949, the type was built under license in the Mannheim plant by Daimler-Benz . Opel-Blitz-LF15.jpg
    1951-1960 lightning The second generation Blitz had a payload of 1.75 tons. Opel blitz platform 1 sst.jpg
    1960-1965 lightning The third generation Blitz had a payload of 1.9 tons. Opel Blitz Fire Brigade.jpg
    1966-1975 lightning The last Blitz series with payloads from 1.7 to 2.4 tons. Opel blitz 3 sst.jpg
    1973-1987 Bedford Blitz The pickup truck was taken over by Vauxhall and built at Bedford . The Bedford Blitz was not very successful in Germany and production was discontinued in early 1987. Bedford blitz v sst.jpg
    1986-1993 Combo A The first combo was based on the Kadett E. It was also the first high-roof station wagon from Opel. Opel Kadett Combo 1.7 D Heck.JPG
    1991-2001 Campo The Campo was a pickup truck that shared its platform with the Isuzu Faster TF. OPEL-VAUX-CAMPO-A-FACELIFT.jpg
    1993-2001 Combo B The successor to the Kadett Combo , which was based on the Corsa B. The Combo has been run as a separate model series since autumn 1993. Opel Combo front 20080625.jpg
    1997-2000 arena Renault Trafic with minor modifications Opel Arena.jpg
    1998-2009 Movano A Developed by Renault and built with the Renault Master and Nissan Interstar since 2002. Opel Movano MTF.jpg
    2001-2011 Combo C A panel van based on the Corsa C, which was manufactured in the Opel plant in Azambuja (Portugal) until 2007 , but has since rolled off the assembly line in Saragossa (Spain). Opel Combo front 20080701.jpg
    2001–2014, 2014–2019 Vivaro A / B A small van that was created in cooperation with Renault-Nissan and is almost identical in construction to Renault Trafic and Nissan Primastar . The second generation was introduced in summer 2014. Opel Vivaro 20090905 front.JPG
    since 2010 Movano B / Movano Cargo Medium-sized transporter, which, like its predecessor, arose from a cooperation with Renault-Nissan. In 2019 he got a facelift; since then it has been offered as Movano Cargo . Opel Movano B front 20100705.jpg
    2011-2018 Combo D A panel van based on the Fiat Doblò II, which has been manufactured in the Tofaş plant in Bursa (Turkey) since autumn 2011 . 2012 Opel Combo.jpg
    since 2018 Combo Cargo (Combo E) A panel van based on the Peugeot Partner and Citroën Berlingo .
    since 2019 Vivaro C Is a van based on the Peugeot Expert , Citroën Jumpy and Toyota Proace . The Vivaro C is available as a panel van, double cabin and also as a station wagon. Panel vans and double cabs are offered as Vivaro Cargo . Like its predecessor, it is manufactured at Vauxhall's main plant in Luton (England). Opel Vivaro C IMG 2456.jpg

    Historical models (selection)

    1899-1901 Patent motor car "System Lutzmann" The first Opel automobile was developed in collaboration with Friedrich Lutzmann . OpelLutzmann.jpg
    1909 Opel 4/8 PS "Doctoral Car" The first Opel car that was accessible to a wider audience. The nickname “doctor's car” came from the frequent appearance of the car on medical home visits. Opel 4 8 PS Doctoral Car 1910.jpg
    1911-1920 Opel 5/12 PS "Puppchen" Small car produced in four series Opel 5-12 PS 1.jpg
    1914 12.3 liter racing car "Green Monster" 4 cylinders, 260 hp, 228 km / h, weight 2,000 kg Opel 12,3L racing car 1914.JPG
    1922-1924 Opel 10/30 PS
    Opel 10/35 PS
    The six-seater luxury car had a four-cylinder engine with 30 or 35 hp. Opel 10-35 PS 1.jpg
    1924-1931 Opel 4/12 PS "Tree Frog" The first built in Germany on an assembly line automotive, copy of the Citroën Type C . Opel laubfrosch.jpg
    1928 Opel RAK1 The world's first rocket car , presented on April 11, 1928 at the Opel racetrack in Rüsselheim.
    1928 Opel RAK2 The successor rocket car for the record run on May 23, 1928 on the Berlin AVUS . OpelRAK2.JPG
    1929 Opel Regent After General Motors took over Opel in 1929, all 25 copies had to be bought back and scrapped. Opel Regent.jpg
    1931-1933 Opel 1.2 liters / Opel 1.8 liters The first car developed jointly by Opel and General Motors had rigid axles front and rear as well as cable-operated drum brakes. Opel 1.8B 1931 2.jpg
    1934-1935 Opel 1.3 liters / Opel 2 liters The car, developed jointly by Opel and General Motors, had Dubonnet suspension at the front, rigid axle at the rear and hydraulically operated drum brakes. Opel 1.3 liter in Vilnius Energy and Technology Museum.JPG
    1935-1937 P4 The P4, which is intended for four people, was the first “people's car” in the German Reich. Thanks to its large ground clearance, it has also proven itself for driving off-road. OpelP4.jpg
    1935-1953 Olympia The first German car with a self-supporting body . His successor was the pontoon Olympic record in spring 1953 . Opel-Olympia.jpg
    1936-1940 Cadet The first Kadett was a great success: over 107,000 units were built. After the war, the production facilities went to the Soviet Union as a reparation payment, where it was produced as the Moskvich-400 until 1955 . Opel-kadett-1936.jpg
    1937-1938 Super 6 Predecessor of the captain . Its 2.5 liter engine developed 55 hp. Opel-Super6-Cabrio-1938.jpg
    1937-1939 admiral The Admiral with a 3.6 l engine was the Opel top model above the Super 6 presented at the same time. Opel Admiral11.JPG

    Concept vehicles from Opel

    see concept vehicles from Opel

    GM / Opel models on the international market

    In many countries, especially in Europe, the same Opel models are sold as in Germany, but there are a few exceptions. In South America, General Motors sells Opel models under the brand name Chevrolet , but there were also some models only sold abroad under the name Opel. In the United Kingdom , Vauxhall are manufactured identically to Opel models. In Central and Eastern Europe is Astra H still offered here under the name Astra Classic III as an alternative to new Astra . The Classic III is available with a hatchback and notchback, as well as a caravan. In Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay a revised Astra G was offered as the Chevrolet Astra (with hatchback and notchback) , in Chile and Mexico the Astra H. The Chevrolet Viva sold in Russia is a four-door Astra G (has not been produced since March 2008 ).

    In Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and Uruguay, the Zafira was sold under the Chevrolet logo. The Zafira B was available as a Chevrolet in Chile and Mexico. Also Vectra and Meriva have been sold in South America as a Chevrolet. In many South American countries there is a pick-up version of the Corsa C, which was offered as the Corsa Utility in South Africa and as the Chevrolet Montana in Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela . In Japan the Corsa bears the name Opel Vita , as there is already a Toyota there with the name Corsa .

    In South Africa, the Corsa B in the version before the facelift (1997) under the name Corsa Lite was available as an alternative to the Corsa C. In India, the Corsa B version was marketed as the Corsa Sail after the facelift . There is also a notchback (Corsa Joy) and a caravan version (Corsa Swing). More information about the Corsa versions offered as Chevrolet can be found in the article on the Opel Corsa .

    Proposed in the US and Canada Saturn Aura is based on the Vectra C . In 2007-2009 a modified version of the Astra H was also offered as the Saturn Astra in North America. In Australia and New Zealand, the Astra and the Combo were available as Holden . In North America and China, General Motors sells Opel models as Buick, the differences being minimal and only reflected in the design. The current Buick Regal is based on the Opel Insignia. The main differences are the modified Buick grill in waterfall design and the changed color of the passenger compartment lighting (blue instead of red). The GS shelf is comparable to the Insignia OPC.

    In Indonesia you also often see the Chevrolet Blazer as the Opel Blazer , and the Astra F Caravan was sold there as the Opel Optima , as there is already a state-affiliated company Astra International in the automotive industry , which is considered the largest automobile importer in Indonesia, among other things for Honda and Toyota . As of 2015, the name Opel was no longer sold on the Russian market. After Groupe PSA took over Opel in 2017, Opel and PSA decided to return to Russia from 2019. The first three are to return to Russia: Vivaro C , Zafira Life and Grand Country X .


    • Hans-Jürgen Schneider: Cars and technology: 125 years of Opel . Verlag Schneider + Repschläger, Weilerswist 1987, DNB 880894733 , 472 pages, numerous illustrations.
    • Peter Schirmbeck (Ed.): You will come to America tomorrow. Memories of working at Opel 1917-1987. Verlag JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-8012-0128-7 .
    • Eckhart Bartels: Opel, vehicle chronicle from 1887 to 2000. (bicycles, motorcycles, cars and trucks), Podszun-Verlag, Brilon 2000, ISBN 3-86133-146-2 .
    • Wolfgang Schmarbeck, Bodo Fischer: All Opel automobiles since 1899. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-613-01478-5 .
    • Opel since 1899. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-613-02804-3 .
    • Alexander Franc Storz: Typenkompass - Opel passenger cars since 1945. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-613-02930-9 .
    • Eckhart Bartels, Rainer Manthey: Typenkunde - Opel small and middle class cars from 1962. Volume 1, Delius Klasing, 2005, ISBN 3-7688-1637-0 .
    • Eckhart Bartels, Rainer Manthey: Typenkunde - Opel middle and upper class from 1947. Volume 2, Delius Klasing, 2006, ISBN 3-7688-1726-1 .
    • Eckhart Bartels: Opel military vehicles from 1906–1956. Nebel-Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-89555-860-5 .
    • Jürgen Nöll: In the shadow of the automobile - Opel motorcycles from three decades. Heel-Verlag, Königswinter 2001, ISBN 3-89880-012-1 (illustrated book from 1900 to 1930)
    • Henry Ashby Turner: General Motors and the Nazis. The struggle for Opel. Econ Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-430-19206-4 .
    • Karl E. Ludvigsen: Opel - wheels for the world. Automobile Quarterly Publications, Princeton 1983, ISBN 0-915038-17-X .
    • Frank O. Hrachowy: Opel - Chronicle of a fight: The history of the car brand since 1970. Edition technology history, 2014, ISBN 978-3-9816711-0-0
    • Stephan Jegielka: The Opel strike in 1936 and the expansion of factory security as a company terrorist organization. Circular 2 BAG Antifascism, 2015, ISSN  1864-3833

    Web links

    Commons : Opel  - Collection of Images
    Commons : Opel vehicles  - collection of images
    Commons : Opel Bikes  - Collection of Images
     Wikinews: Portal: Opel  - in the news

    Individual evidence

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    104. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQEBN-ENitU Tigra commercial 1995
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    110. Opel-Oldies: Stories made of chrome and sheet metal (photo series)
    111. Lotus116.de History
    112. Countries in which the Astra H is offered as Astra Classic III : Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Turkey (as of March 2011)

    Coordinates: 49 ° 59 ′ 15 ″  N , 8 ° 24 ′ 27 ″  E