At a glance

The main plant in Rüsselsheim combines history with the most modern production facilities. Adam Opel produced the first sewing machine in Rüsselsheim in 1862, and his sons began producing automobiles in 1899. Opel Patent Motor Car, Doktorwagen, Laubfrosch, Kapitän, Rekord, Senator, Monza, Admiral and Diplomat are just some of the highlights that have come from the tradition-rich vehicle production in Rüsselsheim. In addition to vehicle and transmission production, all core corporate areas are located on the premises including the International Technical Development Center with more than 7,000 engineers, the Design Center, prototype construction, central vocational training and the company headquarters in Adam Opel Haus. Today the Rüsselsheim plant produces the Opel flagship, the new Insignia, and the Opel Zafira.


History of the Rüsselsheim Plant


2017   Start of production of the Opel flagship – the new Insignia is built as the five-door limousine Grand Sport and Sports Tourer
2016 Start of production of re-worked Opel Zafira
  Opening of new development center for powertrain systems 
2015 Start of production of Opel Zafira Tourer 
  Anniversary: 150 years of vocational training at Opel
2014 Double anniversary: 50 years of Opel Design Center and 17 million vehicles produced in Rüsselsheim plant
2013 Start of production of updated Opel Insignia model generation; 
  Anniversary: one millionth six-speed manual transmission produced 
2012 150 years of Opel
  Production milestone: 500,000th Opel Insignia built
2009 Start of production of Opel Insignia Sports Tourer and Insignia OPC models
2008 Start of production of new Opel Insignia: hatchback and sedan models built in Rüsselsheim
2002 New vehicle plant opened with ultra-modern production of Opel Vectra and Opel Signum models
1999 Opel celebrates 100 years of automobile production
  Production milestone: the 50 millionth Opel, an Omega (B), is built
1989 Production milestone: the 25 millionth Opel, an Omega (A), is built
1981 Sustainability: Opel is the first automaker to open a paint shop that uses environmentally friendly water-based paint
1971 Production milestone: the ten millionth Opel, a Rekord (C) Caravan, is built
1965 Production milestone: the five millionth Opel rolls off the assembly line
1956 Production milestone: the two millionth Opel, a gold-plated Kapitän, is built
  New Press and Body Plant K40 is opened – it is the largest industrial building in Germany at the time
1950 Rebuilding of plant is completed
1940 Production milestone: the one millionth Opel is a Kapitän
1937 Opel sells its bicycle production after building 2.6 million bicycles; with daily 
  production of 4,000 units, the company was the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer
1935 Opel unveils the Olympia, Germany’s first mass-produced car with an all-steel integral body and frame. At the same time, a new manufacturing process developed and patented by the engineers in Rüsselsheim is introduced: the so-called “wedding” that unites the prefabricated body shell with the chassis and mechanical assemblies that is still used today. Opel is the first German automaker to exceed annual production of 100,000 vehicles. 
1924 Opel invests one million gold marks to completely modernize its automobile production and is the first German manufacturer to introduce high-volume production with assembly-line processes. The first car to roll out of the updated plant: the legendary 4/12 hp model, better known as the “Laubfrosch” (Tree Frog), in reference to its green body paint and protruding headlamps.
1909 With the “Doktorwagen” (Doctor’s Car), a 4/8 hp compact two-seater, Opel offers an extremely reliable car at an affordable price. 
1902 Under the brand name Opel Darracq, the first Darracq chassis are outfitted with Opel bodies in Rüsselsheim – one of the first successful joint ventures in automotive history. 
1899 Beginning of automobile production in Rüsselsheim; the first model is the “Opel Patent Motor Car, System Lutzmann” 
1886 Opel also specializes in the production of bicycles
1865 Adam Opel hires his first apprentice
1863 Adam Opel hires his first employee
1862 After years of employment as a journeyman metalworker, Adam Opel goes into business in his hometown of Rüsselsheim: he builds his first sewing machine, laying the foundation for the Opel company 

Rüsselsheim | Media OPEL International


  • Nico  Schmidt
    Nico Schmidt
    Group Manager Corporate Communications
    Tel : +49 6142/69-24093
    Mobile : +49 151-21545387
  • Mark Bennett
    Mark Bennett
    Assistant Manager Corporate Communications
    Tel : +49 6142/69-23811
    Mobile : +49 1515 1517432