for 40 years, Biel was the object of desire for Swiss car fans: In modern factory halls at the train station the assembled workers new vehicles. The salt house road from the messenger window-free views of the manufacturing plants. Opel in Biel from the 1936 models, such as the captain – an elegant, curved saloon – or the record.

The German family business was in 1929, in the ownership of US auto giant General Motors (GM) are gone. In addition to Opel models produced by GM in Biel, in addition, vehicles of the brands Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, La Salle, and Vauxhall. In spite of the new GM leadership, Opel had preserved his independence. And with success: in the mid-1930s the tradition was ascended businesses from Rüsselsheim to the biggest car producers in Europe.

Opel-factory in Biel

In this period also the construction of the factory in Biel falls. These were opened in 1936, is due to the former President Guido Müller. He offered GM a newly built factory and tax exemption for five years. In return, its because of the crisis-ridden watch industry-stricken city of hundreds of new jobs. Initially, 300 workers produced 1600 cars per year. From the main plants body have been delivered the parts and motors in Switzerland. These were assembled on site and with the Swiss products, such as rims, tires, batteries and pads fitted ready for use.

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Every seven minutes a new car

produced At the peak in 1968, 1400 employees 17’740 cars. Every day a shiny new car left at the time, all seven minutes of the plant site and the sample in the suburb of Nidau and the “Hueb”, a steep hill, the dangers. Milestones were celebrated at this time: in 1961, a Opel P2 Rekord Caravan than 100’000. Car in Biel from the Band’s delivery, it was given in a public ceremony, the Pestalozzi children’s village in Trogen AR.

In the 1970s, because lowering of tariffs on finished cars built solid, the Assembly in Switzerland was no longer profitable. 14. In August, 1975, the last Opel Caravan was produced. The factory halls are now protected and are reminiscent of a Golden era of automotive industry in Switzerland.

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