Opel Home

Useful information about this German/French brand

The birth of Opel

The company was founded by Adam Opel on 21 January 1862 in Rüsselsheim, Hesse, Germany. In the beginning, Opel produced sewing machines. In 1888, production was moved from a cow shed to a larger building in Rüsselsheim. Opel launched a new product in 1886: he began selling bicycles with high wheels, also known as penny-farthings. Opel's two sons took part in high-wheel bicycle races, promoting this means of transport. The production of high-wheeled bicycles soon surpassed that of sewing machines. At the time of Opel's death in 1895, he was the leader in both markets.

The first cars were designed in 1898 after Opel's widow Sophie and their two eldest sons entered into a partnership with Friedrich Lutzmann, a court locksmith in Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, who had been designing cars for some time. The first Opel Patent Car was built in Rüsselsheim in early 1899, although these cars were not very successful (a total of 65 cars were delivered). As a result, the partnership was dissolved after two years, and in 1901 Opel signed a licence agreement with the French automobile company Darracq to produce vehicles under the Opel Darracq brand name. These cars consisted of Opel bodies mounted on Darracq chassis, powered by two-cylinder engines.

In March 2017, Groupe PSA agreed to buy Opel, its UK sister brand Vauxhall and their European car loan business from General Motors for $2.2 billion. In return, General Motors pays PSA $3.2 billion for future European pension liabilities and continues to manage $9.8 billion worth of plans for existing retirees. In addition, GM is responsible for paying about US $ 400 million a year for 15 years to fund the existing pension plans of Britain and Germany. it seems PSA made a good deal. And now Opel is profitable again.


Opel database

The overviews below contain many useful service intervals and tips on the most recent Opel models. The intervals and guidelines are only an indication, there may be circumstances in which a workshop gives a different recommendation.

When to replace a Vauxhall timing belt

The timing belt or chain is essential for (almost) any combustion engine, without it there can be no combustion. This is because the timing belt ensures that the camshaft, the crankshaft and the valves are driven by this belt or chain. Many Opels have a timing belt that has to be replaced periodically. Below are the intervals for each model that we know about: