Now, again, it’s rumored that General Motors may be selling its German division Opel to Europe’s last-standing collection of automotive fuckups, PSA Peugeot Citroën. This is not a surprise. General Motors spent nearly an entire century—no, I am not exaggerating—running Opel like a crazy person.
GM got tied in with Opel all the way back in 1929, buying complete ownership in 1931. It was a period of consolidation for the automobile industry back then, and shaky independent Opel was looking for a bigger parent company to help it survive the Depression. While other German makes like Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer joined together to form Auto Union, Opel hitched itself to big GM. Ironically, one of Opel’s most prominent cars from its independent era was a knockoff of a Citroën.