Opel operates 11 vehicle, powertrain, and component plants and four development and test centers in seven countries, and employs around 39,000 people, with more than 22,000 of them in Germany as of February 2011. Many additional jobs are provided by some 6,500 independent sales and service outlets as a direct result of their business with the automaker. With its sister brand in the U.K., Vauxhall, Opel sells vehicles in more than 40 markets worldwide. The company's Rüsselsheim factory has been transformed to one of the most modern plants in the world for €750 million and started production in 2002. Other plants are in Bochum, Eisenach, and Kaiserslautern, Germany; Vienna/Aspern, Austria; Szentgotthard, Hungary; Zaragoza, Spain; Gliwice, and Tychy, Poland; Ellesmere Port, and Luton, UK. The Dudenhofen Test Center is located near the Rüsselsheim headquarters and is responsible for all technical testing, and vehicle validations.
Around 7,000 people are responsible for the engineering and design of Opel vehicles at the International Technical Development Center (ITDC) and Opel Design Center in Rüsselsheim. All in all, Opel plays an important role in the global GM corporate group. The company was responsible for primary engineering of the Epsilon (I) platform, Epsilon II platform, Delta (I) platform, Delta (II) platform, Gamma platform and played an important role in the development of especially the higher-end, more-refined version of the Gamma II platform. In addition, the company is developing new manufacturing equipment for the global GM auto production.
So Opel is in most cases fully responsible for all the car architectures and technologies up to the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal. In particular, all the future-oriented, modern, full-efficient GM architectures for compact and midsize vehicles are developed by Opel.
Even the idea and concept behind the Ampera was rooted in Opel with Frank Weber, the former "Global Vehicle Line Executive and Global Chief Engineer electric vehicle development," being originally an Opel employee who was moved to the USA in order to advance the development of this concept in GM's home country instead of the German outpost that is Opel. In 2009, Weber returned during the reorganization of the Opel leadership to Adam Opel GmbH as "Vice President Planning and Commercial Vehicle Operations" for the company. In 2011, Frank Weber left Opel for BMW.
Opel established Opel Performance Center (OPC) in 1997, which is responsible for the development of high-performance cars.
Opel Special Vehicles (OSV) is a wholly owned subsidiary, which produces special series and undertakes vehicle modifications. Together with the ITDC OSV developed the environmentally friendly and cost-CNG-drive concept based on natural gas (Compressed Natural Gas) and was first implemented on the Opel Zafira 1.6 CNG.
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