In South Africa, Heritage Day is a public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. In light of this inspiring celebration, the REEDS team thought it would be a nice idea to share some interesting facts about the heritage of the OPEL brand.
Here are a few interesting historic facts about OPEL:
1. It’s the original girl power brand!
A dynamic lady called Sophie Opel started manufacturing cars in 1895, four years after the passing of her husband, Adam Opel. Prior to this, the family had been manufacturing and selling bicycles. The enterprise started in their garage with a few OPEL Patentmotorwagen, and ultimately grew to the world-renowned brand we know today.
2. Sophie Opel was all about efficient production
From the very start, Sophie Opel placed a big focus on efficient production, which allowed the family to offer better cars and more cost-effective prices, making the option of purchasing a car an option for a larger part of the population. In fact, in 1924, Opel was the first manufacturer to implement an economic assembly line. It's their pioneering work that would make German automobiles accessible to everyone.
3. Thinking outside of the box was second nature for the OPEL pioneers
When the Opel family bought Friedrich Lutzmann’s motorcar factory in the late 1900s, they joined the ranks of the most famous German automotive pioneers. However, while the others were still pushing out cars that were based on the look and feel of horse-drawn carriages, OPEL stole the show with the 4/8 PS OPEL Doktorwagen, a small, modern car with an OPEL-built 4-cylinder in-line engine. Best of all? It came with a price tag of 4000 and 5000 Deutsche Mark, while the rest of the cars on the market clocked in at around 20 000.
4. The first-wave OPEL Kadett stole the show in the 1930s already
We all know and love the OPEL Kadett vehicles that came out in the 1960s, but did you know the first iteration of this car made waves in the 1930 already? When it was first launched, the Kadett replaced the OPEL P4, boasting a revolutionary self-supporting steel body, single-wheel front suspension, 4-cylinder four-stroke engine and hydraulic drum brakes.
5. OPEL was the first European manufacturer to open a design studio
In 1964, OPEL became the first European manufacturer to establish a modern design studio. This allowed them to pool the talents of their designers to arrive at showstopper OPEL GT, OPEL Manta and OPEL Ascona, all of which remained affordable due to their successful use of mass production technology.
Inspiring, right? It’s so wonderful to look back and see how far we have come. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months as we share more interesting stories and expert insight into all things OPEL. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with a REEDS dealer at your nearest branch to find out more about the OPEL models we currently have in stock. OPEL – The Future is Everyone’s.