From sewing machine to number 1 car manufacturer
Adam Opel never built cars. Sewing machines and bicycles made Opel great. His children started building cars and quickly focused on relatively inexpensive volume vehicles. With this strategy, Opel became Germany's largest manufacturer until 1928. In the same year, the majority of shares were taken over by General Motors. A mutually beneficial move: GM brought a lot of technology to Germany, especially the all-steel body.
In the 1950s, the reliable Opel was the only serious alternative to the Beetle. A rapidly expanding product range with fashionable, appealing and yet high-yield vehicle models drove the conservative VW decision-makers on for decades.
The lead disappeared in the 1990s in an attempt to optimise returns at the expense of vehicles. Since then, friends of the brand look at the broad and colourful company history and are pleased that so much remains. But back to the beginning:
- In 1924, the Opel factory in Rüsselsheim was the first car manufacturer in Germany to be equipped with assembly lines in order to produce the 4/15 year at low cost.
- The Opel P4, introduced 11 years later, sold more than 65,000 units in just two years and was the first car for the masses.
- Opel was able to announce another first in the spring of the same year: The manufacturer presented the Olympia in 1936, which had a self-supporting all-steel body, a novelty in Germany at the time.
These milestones made Opel the largest car manufacturer in Europe and the seventh largest in the world in 1937, with a total amount of 130,267 vehicles built.
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A great leap: the years between 1960 and 1980
At the end of the 1950s, a big step was taken: the Opel Kadett was developed to counter the dominance of the VW Beetle in its class. And it worked, among other things with the slogan Opel Kadett - in short O.K. The Rekord was joined by the Kapitän, the Admiral and later the Diplomat, which also sold well as luxury class vehicles.
The first years of the Federal Republic were the great heyday for Opel. The carmaker was the second largest German carmaker and successful everywhere in Europe. Later in the 1970s, the highly successful Ascona, the Rekord, the Opel GT and the iconic Manta were also launched.
Opel as a strong brand
Opel was General Motors' main brand in Europe. Apart from minor variations in the range of body styles, the Vauxhall model range in the UK is no different. In North America and China Opel is called Buick and in all parts of the world Chevrolet until a few years ago, with the majority of older Opel models being steadily replaced since 2010.
Opel classic car spare parts at Limora
If you want to treat your Opel GT to only the best oil or your Manta could use a new shock absorber, then we at Limora are glad to help you: With Opel classic car spare parts and classic car tuning for your Opel, we are happy to assist you. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions - 7 days a week by phone or e-mail.