Opel History 1910-1919
|1910||A modular production system is implemented: prefabricated car bodies are combined with various chassis and engines.|
Opel’s market share in Germany grows to 12.3 percent.
|1911||With a 6/16 hp model, Opel adopts the new “torpedo” body form. In addition, Opel responds to technological developments, filling new market gaps: the carmaker develops its first aircraft engine, which drives the Euler biplane. At the same time, the company builds a heavy-duty motorized plow for large farms.|
A major fire destroys a large part of the plant.
Sewing-machine production ends with the manufacture of the one-millionth unit.
The “Adam Opel Foundation” is established to fund an old-age pension plan for the company’s workforce.
|1912||Opel celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.|
The ten-thousandth Opel motorcar rolls out of the plant.
Based on experience gathered from the major fire of 1911, the engineers in Rüsselsheim develop the “Motorized Fire Pump” for the plant fire brigade. The early fire engine is successfully marketed to towns and cities.
A new flagship model is introduced: a substantial 40/100 hp four-cylinder vehicle.
|1913||Race cars employing ground-breaking engine technology are developed for the Grand Prix season: the four-cylinder power units with 4-liter and 4.5-liter displacements feature four valves per cylinder and an overhead camshaft driven by a vertical shaft.|
|1914||A record-breaking race car is developed, based on the engine technology that led to the 1913 Gran Prix triumph. The cutting-edge vehicle is not only one of the first cars to feature four-valve technology – at a swept volume of 12.3 liters, its four-cylinder, 16-valve power unit is the largest displacement engine to emerge from the Rüsselsheim facilities.|
Opel becomes Germany’s largest automobile manufacturer.
A 5/14 hp model goes into production. The hugely successful car is dubbed “Puppchen” (little doll).
During WW I (1914–1918), Opel produces heavy trucks for the military.
|1916||In a 18/50 hp model, Opel introduces its first six-cylinder engine, with a displacement of 4.7 liters.|
|1919||The Opel Racetrack, located south of Rüsselsheim, is inaugurated. The oval course with banked curves, paved in concrete, is the first permanent track for racing and testing in Germany – years ahead of other well-known racetracks, such as the Berlin AVUS and the Nürburgring.|