Recalling Opel’s wheels of fortune which has been turning for 160 years
This year, Opel celebrates a very special anniversary.
The Opel success story began in August 1862 when Adam Opel assembled his first sewing machine in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
It soon developed into one of the largest sewing machine manufacturers in Germany and exported to the whole of Europe. Opel built up its next successful pillar with the bicycle. In 1886 the first penny-farthing bicycle was built in Rüsselsheim, making Opel one of the first bicycle manufacturers in Germany.
Soon the range of models expanded to include tricycles and in 1888 the first Opel bicycle factory was inaugurated.
By the 1920s, Opel advanced to become the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Driven forward by his five sons after Adam Opel’s death, Opel embraced automobile production in 1899 in Rüsselsheim, becoming the first German manufacturer to introduce large-scale production technology, with its first car to roll off the assembly line in Germany in 1924.
The next revolution in production followed in 1935. The new Olympia model became the first German mass-produced vehicle with a unitary all-steel body. Over the course of its 160-year rich history, Opel has repeatedly set trends with new models, each one looking to the future.