Opel is a German automobile company, which is part of the GM (General Motors) group. It was founded by Adam Opel, which gave him his surname. Initially was a brand of sewing machines and bicycles, opened in 1886. When Adam Opel died, their children raised is taking a new direction before the fall of the sale of bicycles.
It was thus that they acquired in 1897 Anhaltische Motorwagenfabrik. They opened their doors on 21 June, manufacturing 11 cars in its first year of activities. By differences of opinion with the management of the factory, in 1900 the automobile Department was closed. So they began importing cars from France (Renault and Darracq). In 1902, presented its first completely own car, with a 2-cylinder engine, 10/12PS 1894 cc.
In 1904 presented its first 4-cylinder and in 1905 a 35/40PS 6880 cc engine. In 1914, before the first world war, the range of Opel cars was already broad enough, even with a 100 HP engine. However, with the defeat of the German army, the situation became rather complicated for all local companies. So Opel decided to focus on making a popular car, mass produced. That way a production line was installed in 1924, and began to produce the Laubfrosch of 4 cylinders and 951 cc, achieving immediate success.
General Motors bought Opel between 1928-1929. The domain of Opel in Germany was overwhelming, with 40% of the market before the second world war. In the course of the war, the German plants of GM served the nazi army. Opel manufactured also bombers Ju-88, and components tanks and submarines. Therefore, the factory became a military objective and was bombed several times by opponents States.
After the war, Opel resumed its activities recently in 1947, because its machinery the Russians had taken it. In the post-war period, the first car was Olympia, and then came the Kapitan. In 1958 the first Opel vehicle was exported to United States: the Rekord. In 1962 appeared the Kadett remembered, with 4 cylinders and 993 cc.
In the 1960s, Opel had on his range of large vehicles, such as the Diplomat, Admiral and Commodore, in some cases carrying V8 Chevrolet engines. The brand launched its first car front-wheel drive in 1980, called the Kadett d was a significant success. The Corsa, manufactured in Figueruelas-Spain was born in 1982. Its initial range had two available body: two-door sedan and three-door hatchback. The latest generation of the Kadett was presented in 1984, before being replaced by the Astra.
In 2009, General Motors put on sale the 27.5% of the shares of Adam Opel AG. The buyer was the other company Magna International. Subsequently, the Russian Bank Sberbank purchased another 27.5%. The remaining shares were at GM, although 10% German employees of the company will drive it.
Throughout the world, numerous cars from other GM brands are Opel designs (or based on these), as Vauxhall, Holden, Saturn Corporation, and even Chevrolet. In Europe, Opel is the main brand of General Motors, except in the United Kingdom where Queen Vauxhall.
Currently, Opel headquarters is located in R?sselsheim, with production plants in Bochum, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern, as well as in Belgium, Spain, Hungary and Poland. In 2006 it closed a plant in Portugal.