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Visitors Flock to Opel Test Center Rodgau-Dudenhofen

10 Sep 2016

  • Open day: Over 20,000 visitors celebrate 50 years of vehicle development
  • Prominent guests: Panel discussion with Finance Minister Schäfer and Mayor of Rodgau Hoffmann
  • From old-timers to OPC: Extensive program all around the automobile
Opel News - Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann (left) receives congratulations on the 50th birthday of the Opel Test Center. From left: Jürgen Hoffmann, Mayor of Rodgau; Klaus Kapsreiter, Chairman of the Dudenhofen Works Council; moderator Uwe Deller; Dr. Thomas Schäfer, Finance Minister of Hesse; and Dr. Matthias Schollmaier, Director of the Opel Test Center

Rüsselsheim/Rodgau-Dudenhofen.  A rare opportunity to find out what usually goes on in secret behind the high security fencing, where cars of the future are put to the test – Opel fans and people living near the Opel Test Center in Germany seized the chance with enthusiasm. Today Opel celebrated the 50th birthday of the brand’s largest test and development center in Europe on Saturday. In the warm sunshine of late summer, more than 20,000 visitors flocked to the 2.8 km² grounds to learn about the test tracks, the testing routine and the new test and development facilities.

Opel News - Around 300 classic Opel automobiles on display at the Opel Test Center

Since the opening in 1966, it has never been still at Dudenhofen, Opel has continuously updated the proving ground. The biggest renovation and extension so far began in 2012 and should be completed by 2020. Until then the company will make a high two-digit million euro investment, thus expresses its commitment to the location.


Behind the open doors, Opel laid on an attractive program. Sporty cars from the Opel Performance Center and classic Opel models put on their best show and an additional highlight was the special stage of the Klassik Tour Kronberg vintage car rally, with Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann at the head of the field of competitors. In addition to Dr. Neumann, Le Mans winner Jockel Winkelhock and actor Hardy Krüger jr. also drove classic Opel cars in the rally.

Opel News - In tropical heat the 2.8 km2 Opel Test Center celebrates its 50th anniversary and opens its doors to more than 20,000 visitors

“Opel made precisely the right decision 50 years ago”, said Dr. Neumann during a talk show with Dr. Thomas Schäfer, Finance Minister of Hesse, Jürgen Hoffmann, Mayor of Rodgau, Klaus Kapsreiter, Chairman of the Dudenhofen Works Council, and Dr. Matthias Schollmaier, Director of the Opel Test Center. “Here we have ideal conditions here and feel very welcome. Thanks to continuous investment, the Opel Test Center has become our largest and most important in Europe. Together with our Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim, the Opel Test Center represents a technology-hub in the Rhine-Main region and it is an important part of the GM network.”


Minister Dr. Thomas Schäfer came with the best wishes of the regional government. “Opel is strengthening the business hub Hesse and is one of our most important employers. I wish all the employees the very best for the development and testing of the new models – so that the following generations will once again be able to flock to this area for the 100th anniversary,” said Schäfer.

Opel News - Rally-rookie Marijan Griebel drifts his Opel ADAM R2

Visitors also got the latest news about Opel’s participation in motor sports. Among the interview partners were Volker Strycek, Opel Engineering Director, Performance Cars and Motorsport, and rally driver Marijan Griebel. The 27 year-old described how highly motivated he is to claim the European Junior Rally Championship title in his ADAM R2.


Opel fans and hobby drivers were able to practice their own driving skills in more than 150 cars from the current product portfolio that were available for test drives.