Wilhelm von Opel

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Wilhelm von Opel (May 15, 1871– May 2, 1948), known as Wilhelm Opel before being granted nobility in 1917, was one of the founding figures of the German automobile manufacturer Opel. He introduced the assembly line to the German automobily industry.

His father, Adam Opel, founded the Opel firm as a manufacturer of sewing machines, then expanded into bicycle manufacturing. After Adam's death in 1895, control of the company passed to his five sons. In 1898, Wilhelm and his brother Fritz brought Opel into the automobile industry with the purchase of the small Lutzmann automobile factory of Dessau. In 1933, Opel joined the Nazi party and was a supporting member. In 1947, Opel was found guilty by a denazification court.[1] Along with his brother Heinrich, Wilhelm was raised to grand-ducal nobility in 1917. Their brother Karl was raised to the same level in the next year.

See also[edit]

  1. ^ Günter Neliba: Die Opel-Werke im Konzern von General Motors (1929–1948) in Rüsselsheim und Brandenburg. Brandes & Apsel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-86099-179-5.