The Opel brothers acquire Friedrich Lutzmann's motor car plant and begin production of the "Opel Patent Motor Car, System Lutzmann" in Ruesselsheim, Germany, on Jan. 21, 1899.
While Adam Opel had transformed his handicraft business into an industrial-sized sewing machine and bicycle producer with around 1,000 employees, his five sons --all cycling enthusiasts -- were looking for new challenges. They turned their attention to the motor car -- the revolutionary invention of the late 1800s.
The start of motor vehicle output in 1899 marked a major turning point in the company's history. In early 1902, the brothers began building French Darracq models under license and selling them under the brand name Opel-Darracq. In the fall of 1902, the brothers unveiled their first automotive design at the Hamburg Motor Show -- the Opel 10/12 hp motor car.
The foundation for sales and growth was set with the Opel 10/12, and in 1906, Opel built its 1,000th vehicle.