Country of origin: Germany
Production years: 1924 -
Opel, founded in 1862 by Adam Opel, was in the beginning producing sewing machines and later bicycles.The first car rolled out of the factory in 1899. Opel was one of the first german manufacturers to adopt mass production at an assembly line in the 20's. 1929 GM aquired a majority of the shares in the company, and 1935 Opel produced more than 100.000 cars in a year. After the second world war, Opel became one of Europe's largest car companies, with popular models like the Kadett, the Rekord and Kapitän. In its home country, Western-Germany, Opel found its niche between the cheap Volkswagen and expensive Mercedes-Benz, being a middle class brand for a growing middle class. During the 70's and 80's, GM performed a model merger between Opel and GM's British car maker Vauxhall, just like Ford had done with its Europeand operations earlier.
Opel has over the last 20 years struggled with declining sales figures, as it has seen large parts of the small car market picked up by Asian brands, and not having a strong enough brand to hold on to large car customers.
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