Opel History 2000 - 2009
|2000||Production of the Opel Agila begins. Germany’s first microvan is the perfect city vehicle. The key to its success: maximum utilization of space yet manageable overall dimensions, combined with a fuel-efficient engine.|
In Geneva, Opel presents a Zafira concept vehicle powered by fuel cells.
A 2.2-liter light-metal engine, generating 147 hp/108 kW of output, becomes available. The Astra Coupe makes its début.
A Zafira variant powered by natural gas is introduced.
|2001||A worldwide bestseller enters its third generation: the updated Opel Corsa continues its success story.|
The purebred driving machine Opel Speedster arrives on the scene.
A second-generation Astra Cabrio is introduced.
Opel unveils the Vivaro.
With the Zafira OPC, Opel presents the fastest production-model van in Europe, while at the same time introducing the Opel Zafira CNG.
The Astra Coupe OPC X-Treme vehicle study is exhibited in Geneva.
The fuel cell-powered Zafira HydroGen 1 sets 15 international records.
|2002||Opel starts the new image campaign “Opel. Fresh Thinking for Better Cars.|
”German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder inaugurates the world’s most advanced automobile manufacturing facilities, in Rüsselsheim.
The new Opel Vectra arrives on the market.
Opel in Berlin, the company’s prestigious headquarters in the capital, opens its doors.
Opel presents its first sustainability report.
|2003||The Opel Speedster Turbo and the natural gas-powered Opel Astra station wagon 1.6 CNG are introduced to the German market. The Opel Signum and Meriva are unveiled simultaneously in Germany. Opel opens a new test and event center in Pferdsfeld.|
The carmaker in Rüsselsheim launches an engine initiative, with four new CDTI common-rail diesel units and the fuel-saving technology TWINPORT for its gasoline engines.
The first Opel Ironman Germany triathlon is held in Frankfurt. The Opel triathlon team performs well, taking a number of leading positions.
The fuel cell-powered Zafira HydroGen3 begins tests under everyday driving conditions on public roads in Tokyo and in Washington.
The Opel ECO Speedster sets 17 international records on the Opel proving grounds in Dudenhofen.
Highlights of the Frankfurt International Motor Show IAA include world premieres of the third-generation Opel Astra, the new Opel Vectra station wagon, the Insignia sedan design study and a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system.
|2004||The Opel Astra enters its third generation. The Tigra TwinTop and Astra station wagon are introduced to the market. The Astra GTC is presented at the Paris Motor Show.|
Opel has produced roughly 60 million vehicles to date.
|2005||Opel Zafira 1.6 CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is the top-selling car with alternative propulsion in Germany.|
World premieres of Astra and Zafira OPC models at Geneva Motor Show.
Series production of new Zafira begins at Bochum plant and sales start of compact van, which was awarded five stars in Euro NCAP safety tests.
A fuel-cell powered Zafira HydroGen3 is used as a customer service vehicle as part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) project, which is supported by the German Federal Government.
Journalists from 26 countries name the 1.3 CDTI ECOTEC engine “Engine of the Year 2005” in the 1.0 to 1.4-liter displacement category.
Market launch of extensively enhanced Vectra and Signum models.
All diesel passenger cars are available with a diesel particulate filter from the summer.
World premieres of sporty-elegant Astra TwinTop cabrio-coupé, Antara SUV concept, Vectra OPC and new Zafira CNG at the IAA in Frankfurt.
Meriva is presented at the Bologna Motor Show with an enhanced design and new refined technology. OPC version debuts at Essen Motor Show.
Zafira wins “Golden Steering Wheel” for best compact van.
|2006||Start of production of Astra GTC with panorama windshield. Extending up into the middle of the roof, it is the first panorama glazing of its type to be fitted in a series production car.|
New Opel GT makes its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The sporty car, now as a roadster, continues the history of the legendary GT from the 1960s.
GM Europe opens a new European Design Center in Rüsselsheim.
New versions of the Vivaro and Movano go into production.
World premiere of fourth-generation Corsa at the British International Motor Show in London; series production begins in Eisenach and Zaragoza.
New Corsa receives five stars in Euro NCAP crash test for passenger protection; Corsa becomes first series-production car to feature Opel’s integrated rear bicycle carrier system Flex-Fix.
The first series-production versions of the new four-wheel drive Antara crossover are available to customers.
|2007||New-edition Astra is launched with new engines, improved technology and fresh design accents.|
Opel begins the OPC Race Camp: after many tough test phases, 18,500 applicants are reduced to the ten best drivers, who will take part in the Nürburgring 24-hour race in 2008.
Opel GTC Concept heralds a new, progressive brand design era at the Geneva Motor Show. World premiere of top-of-the-line Corsa OPC with 192 hp and 1.6-liter turbo engine.
150 hp Corsa GSi premieres at Barcelona Motor Show.
Manuel Reuter sets supermini circuit record of 8 minutes, 47.99 seconds around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in a series-production Corsa OPC.
World premiere of the concept car Opel Flextreme at the IAA; car marks a milestone in the development of a new propulsion concept. With the completely new, environmentally friendly E-Flex system, commuters can travel up to 55 kilometers every day while emitting no CO2 emissions.
Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX also makes its premiere at IAA. Equipped with a diesel particulate filter as standard, the supermini emits just 119 grams CO2per kilometre and has an average consumption of just 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers.
Corsa is the top-selling supermini in Germany.
|2008||Anniversary: In January the 10 millionth Corsa rolls off of the assembly line in Eisenach, and in May the 10 millionth Astra is produced in Bochum. With three more powerful and highly efficient engines, sporty looks and new model variants, the second-generation Zafira is available from the spring, followed by the new dynamic and flexible Agila.|
In Geneva Opel presents the Meriva concept with FlexDoors, rear-hinged rear doors, showcasing the next stage of monocab flexibility. Twelve months after the launch of the racing driver casting “OPC Race Camp”, the eight finalists successfully complete the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring at the end of May. The next season is launched at the end of the year.
Opel expands its ecoFLEX model line. Effective immediately, ecoFLEX denotes the most fuel-efficient and low-emission variant in every model line. For instance, the new edition of the Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX emits just 109 g/km CO2.
With its new design language, the Opel Insignia introduces a new era at Opel. In four and five-door versions it celebrates a double premiere at the London Motor Show. Its blend of elegant dynamic design, technical innovations and wide selection of powerful and efficient engines help the flagship to win numerous prizes in the following months. Technological highlights like the front camera with road sign recognition and lane departure warning, AFL+ headlamps with nine lighting functions, adaptive all-wheel drive and premium seats with the Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (Action for Healthy Backs) seal of approval make the Insignia exceptional in its class.
In October at the Paris Motor Show, Opel debuts the Insignia ecoFLEX variant and the Insignia Sports Tourer. Right on time for its market launch in November, the Insignia is named European “Car of the Year 2009”; Opel is also named the best German automaker in the “Auto Bild Qualitätsreport 2008”.
The Opel Zafira 1.6 CNG ecoFLEX Turbo, the first turbo-charged natural gas van, makes its premiere at the Bologna Motor Show.
|2009||The global economic crisis affects GM and Opel. However, in Germany sales are recovering thanks in part to a scrappage campaign as well as the new top-of-the-line Insignia model. After months of negotiations between GM and Magna, Opel remains in the GM Group.|
The Opel Ampera, the revolutionary extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV), is presented at the Geneva Motor Show. It can cover 40-80 km on pure electric power – and thus CO2-free.
Over longer distances, the on-board internal combustion engine will start to generate electricity to drive the wheels for the remainder of the journey. This enables an operating range of over 500 km.
In Berlin, the HydroGen4, the fourth generation of GM/Opel fuel-cell vehicles, is proving its everyday suitability in a six-month field test.
The Insignia exceeds all expectations: one year after its launch, 170,000 orders have been received across Europe. As of spring spring, the “Car of the Year 2009” is available in the station wagon Sports Tourer version, and in the low CO2 emissions ecoFLEX variant. The sporty top-of-the-line Insignia is the OPC: the 2.8-liter V6 turbo gasoline engine with 239 kW (325 hp) makes it the most powerful production Opel ever. Auto Bild readers name it the “Sports Car of the Year”, just one of over 30 awards the Insignia wins.
With the 110 kW (150 hp) Zafira CNG ecoFLEX turbo, Opel brings the first turbo-powered natural-gas van onto the roads.
OPC Race Camp goes into the second round. Goal: participation in the 24-hour race 2010 on the Nürburgring.
The one millionth Meriva leaves the assembly line at the plant in Zaragoza, Spain.
The new Astra celebrates its premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt. It carries on the sporty-sculptural Opel design language introduced in the Insignia. The sedan sets new standards in the compact class with technology and comfort highlights like ergonomic seats with the AGR (Action for Healthy Backs) seal of approval, front camera with road sign recognition and lane departure warning as well as the safety lighting system AFL+. The new Astra’s high safety is underlined with a five star rating in the Euro NCAP test. Even before its market launch, it wins the “Golden Steering Wheel”. In just a few weeks, 60,000 orders for the new compact model are received.