A few folks at Opel have no doubt uncorked a bottle of bubbly in celebration of the automakers recent milestone.
Opel has now built more than 24-million Astras and Kadetts (forefather to the former) since the very first Kadett 1 rolled off the assembly line in 1936, just three years before the dawn of WWII.
Put another way, if each of those vehicles were placed back to front the chain would circle the equator two and a half times. No doubt, that’s a lot of Opels.
Funny enough, the Opel Kadett B, the second-generation model, is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year as well. With 2.4-million sold, the car represents a tenth of total Astra/Kadett production. It’s also notable for its marketing campaign in the 60s, which featured the catchphrase, “Das Auto.”
While we’re unsure if that was the first formal usage of the tagline, it’s sure to upset a few VW loyalists who no doubt hold the slogan close to their dimple-laden shift knobs.
Though we could poke fun at VW faithful for hours, we’ll instead use that time to congratulate Opel on its sales milestone. Plus, with the new Astra K on the way, we think the company is well on it’s way to smashing more milestones in the years to come.
Meantime, here’s a brief look at the Kadetts and Astras that helped drive Opel to where it is today:
1936-1940: Opel Kadett 1
– Available as a sedan or convertible
– Cost 2,100 marks
– More than 100,000 sold
1962-1965: Opel Kadett A
– Powered by a 993 cm3 four-cylinder producing 40 hp
– Nearly 650,000 built
1965-1973: Opel Kadett B
– Available in more than 120 countries
– More than 2.6 million units sold
1973-1979: Opel Kadett C
– 1.7 million built
1979-1984: Opel Kadett D
– First front-wheel drive kadett
– 1.3-liter OHC engine produced 60 or 75 hp
– 2.1 million Kadett D units were produced
1984-1991: Opel Kadett E
– Second FWD kadett
– Best selling Opel so far with 3,779,289 sold
1991-1997: Opel Astra F
– Some 4.13 million built, making it the new bestseller
– Assumed the name of its British sister model (the fourth generation of the Kadett had been sold in the UK as the Vauxhall Astra since 1980)
1998-2004: Opel Astra G
– Originally offered as a three- and five-door hatchback and a station wagon
2004-2009: Opel Astra H
– Avialble in seven body variants with twelve engines ranging from 90 to 240 hp
– Over over 2.7 million units built
2009 – 2015: Opel Astra J
– Showcased new design philosophy
– Introduced Opel Eye (recognizes traffic signs and informs the driver of speed limits or overtaking bans)
From 2015: Opel Astra K
– Up to 200kg (220 lbs) lighter than the J
– 53 years after it was introduced in a Kadett, an engine with 1.0-liter displacement makes its return in compact Opel
– Will be publically displayed at Frankfurt in September