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Making Motorcars Affordable 1929 - 1945

The threatening world economic crisis began to create concern for Opel. In search of a strong partner, the Opel family came to terms with General Motors Corporation, which purchased the company in 1929. In 1935 at the Berlin Auto Show, Opel presented the first volume-produced German car with an integral all-steel frame and body, the Olympia 1.3 liter.

1929 - General Motors acquires 80% interest in Opel. Opel is the first German manufacturer to establish an insurance company and a bank for financing installment sales.


1931 - General Motors acquires the remaining 20% of Opel shares. Opel becomes a 100% General Motors subsidiary. The company's 13,000 employees produce 500 cars and 6,000 bicycles daily.

1935 - Opel is the first German manufacturer with an annual production of 100,000 automobiles. The new P4 model priced at 1,650 marks is later reduced to 1,450 marks, making this a highly economical car unequalled by the competition.

1936 - With an annual production of 120,923 vehicles, Opel is Europe's largest auto producer.

1937 - After years as the world's largest bicycle manufacturer, Opel ends bicycle manufacturing. Opel sells production to NSU in order to concentrate on automobile production.


1940 - Opel produces its one-millionth vehicle. Passenger car production stops in October.

1944 - Rüsselsheim and Brandenburg plants are destroyed by bombs.

1945 - Production equipment for the Kadett model is dismantled by the Soviet Union.

[Opel Motorsports Club] [Opel Through The Years] [1899 ~ 1928] [1929 ~ 1945] [1946 ~ 1979] [1980 ~ 1989] [1990 ~ 1999] [2000 + Beyond]