The German manufacturer of vehicles Opel, officially registered as “Adam Opel AG”, opened doors in January 1863, having been founded by the man who the company was named after – Adam Opel. The company opened as a manufacturer of household merchandise, later expanding to the bicycle and sewing machine businesses.
Adam Opel died in 1895, before his company turned to automobile manufacturing, but was already the biggest European seller of sewing machines and bicycles. Until the 1920s, Opel became the biggest German car manufacturer.
Today, Opel is a sub-division of General Motors and has been troubled financially, due to the 2008 financial crisis. The company is GMs European branch, selling own and re-badged GM models, ranging from the sub-compact to the utility segment.