O P E L   M O T O R S P O R T    C L U B

The first Opel motor car in 1899

Opel's first endeavors in automobile production were undertaken together with partners, first with the engineer Friedrich Lutzmann from Dessau and later with the French company Darracq. In 1902, Opel presented the first design of its own, a 10/12 hp model with a 2-cylinder engine. Seven years later, Opel introduced a compact two-seater which was especially liked by country doctors and became known as the "Doktorwagen" (Doctor's Car).

1899 - Opel contracts with carriage builder, Friedrich Lutzmann from Dessau, to build its first automobile, the "Opel Patent Motor Car, System Lutzmann" in Rüsselsheim.

1901 - Opel contracts with the Frenchman Alexandre Darracq to manufacture Darracq automobiles under license.

1902 - Presentation of the first car to be developed completely by Opel, the 10/12 hp model with a new two-cylinder engine with built-in water pump. Top speed: 45 km/h.

1906 - Established a branch factory in Berlin. The 1,000th Opel automobile is completed.

1909 - Introduction of a 4/8 hp model with a 4-cylinder engine, known as the "Doctor's Car", priced at 3,950 marks. Opel takes the first step towards making automobiles that are affordable for broader sections of the public.

1912 - Completion of the 10,000th Opel. First collective bargaining agreement sets standard working hours (55.5 hours per week) and minimum wage (36 Pfennigs per hour).

1914 - Opel becomes the largest German automobile manufacturer, selling 3,335 automobiles. Opel begins to employ women on its assembly lines.

1924 - Opel invests one million gold marks in the modernization of its automobile production and becomes the first German manufacturer to introduce volume production with assembly-line methods.

1928 - With a market share of 37.5% and 42, 771 units sold, Opel is Germany's largest automobile manufacturer. Opel becomes a stock corporation (a German Aktiengesellschaft").


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