This year German manufacturer Opel (aka GM’s arm in Europe) will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its foundation, and to open the celebrations they have released this video which kind of compresses their whole century and a half of history in just three minutes. As you will figure out pretty soon watching the clip, Opel hasn’t been a carmaker the whole time: Mr. Adam Opel founded the firm in 1862 in Rüsselsheim, Germany, to produce sewing machines, and then the business gradually expanded in other sectors such as bycicles in 1886 (becoming the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer in the mid 20s) and, in 1902, cars. In 1914 Opel became Germany’s biggest automaker, opening the very first automated production line in 1924 and keeping on growing till the economic crisis of 1929, right after which GM stepped in as majority-stake holder, eventually becoming the only owner in 1931.
Since then, Opel has always remained one of the most well-known manufacturer in Europe - also producing electronic appliances for a short while -giving the automotive world some unforgettable vehicles such as the Kadett (all of them), the Corsa (all of them), the Olympia in the mid 30s, the Blitz truck, the Manta in the 70s, the Ascona rally car of the 80s and so forth until the more recent Astra and Ampera. There are just too many to mention. Nowadays Opel boasts 11 manufacturing facilities in 6 countries and 40,500 empolyees, and its headquarters are still based in Rüsselsheim. The brand continues to operate worldwide but is no longer present in the U.S. market, whereas in Britain all of its model are marketed under the Vauxhall brand. Well, happy birthday Opel.