Rüsselsheim Plant. Facts and Figures
|Products:||Insignia (Sedan, Hatchback, Sports Tourer), Astra 5-Door|
|Total site area:||1,154,750 m²|
At a glance:
The plant in Rüsselsheim connects history with the most modern production facilities. In 1862 Adam Opel made here his first sewing machine here, from the first cars: Opel Patent Motor Car, Doctor’s Car, “Laubfrosch”, Kapitän and the Admiral are just a few of the highlights from the 112 years of vehicle production in Rüsselsheim.
Today, the plant produces the innovative Opel Insignia and the Astra 5-Door, both developed with “German engineering” and produced on the Global General Motors Manufacturing System, the standardized production system, with high quality and outstanding efficiency.
History of the Rüsselsheim Plant
- 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.
- 1863 The company expands: Adam Opel hires his first employee, taking on his first apprentice two years later.
- 1886 Opel converts to bicycle production.
- 1899 “Opel Patent Motor Car, System Lutzmann” is the name given to the first Opel automobile. It marks the beginning of automobile production in Rüsselsheim, and forms the basis for building the first utility vehicles. Within the year, the company makes its international motor sport début.
- 1902 The first Darracq chassis are outfitted with Opel bodies in Rüsselsheim. The vehicles are marketed under the brand name Opel Darracq. The first model built entirely by Opel, with a newly developed 10/12 hp, two-cylinder engine, is completed in fall of the same year.
- 1909 Opel introduces an affordable compact car. The 4/8 hp two-seater, designed for customers who place great importance on dependability, becomes known as the “Doktorwagen” (Doctor’s Car).
- 1924 Investing one million gold marks, Opel completely modernizes its automobile production. The Rüsselsheim plant is the first German manufacturer to introduce the high-volume production methods of the future, including assembly-line processes. The first car to roll out of the updated plant: the legendary 4/12 hp model, best known as the “Laubfrosch” (Tree Frog), in reference to its green body paint and protruding headlamps.
- 1935 Opel unveils the Olympia, Germany’s first mass-produced car with an all-steel integral body and frame. Advantages: low weight, greater passive safety and improved aerodynamics. 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.
- 1937 The company focuses on automobile manufacture, selling its bicycle production after building 2.6 million bicycles.
The one-millionth automobile, a Kapitän
In October, a directive from the Nazi regime brings passenger-car production to a standstill. In addition to truck models, military equipment such as landing gear for aircraft etc. are produced.
- 1950 Production begins again in full force.
- 1956 A newly constructed Press and Body Plant (K40) are opened. It is the largest industrial building in Germany.
- 1971 The ten-millionth Opel, a Rekord C Caravan, rolls off the assembly line.
A new paint shop is opened, in which Opel becomes the first automobile company
use environmentally friendly water-based paint. Robots, modular techniques and the introduction of team work points the way to the future.
- 1989 The 25th-million Opel, an Omega A, rolls off the production line
- 1999 Opel celebrates 100 years of automobile production. The 50th million Opel, an Omega, is built.
- 2002 In a newly constructed plant, which is considered one of the most modern plants in the world, the Opel Vectra and Signum models are assembled.
- 2008 Production begins for the new hatchback and sedan models of the Insignia, which was developed at the International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim.
- 2009 The Insignia Sports Tourer and the Insignia OPC models complete the portfolio.
- 2010 The 16th-million Opel roll off the production line
- 2010/ Production of the Buick Regal, based on the Insignia, built for the North American 2011 market.
- 2011 August: start of production of the Astra 5-Door in addition to the Insignia
- 2012 The 500,000th Insignia roll off the production line.