Opel Pokes VW and “Das Auto” Slogan By Celebrating the Kadett B

Opel Kadett B 11 photos
Photo: Opel
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Before the Astra, Opel’s compact model was the Kadett. You can find out more about the Kadett/Astra lineage in our extensive guide about the subject, but here’s the thing - Opel is poking VW with the occasion of the Kadett B’s golden jubilee. What is the German automaker trying to prove with this?
Beats us. The thing is, Opel AG made the Kadett B from 1965 to 1973. During its production cycle, the marketing peeps came up with an ad that reads “Opel Kadett. Das Auto.” And we all know what car brand abides by the “Das Auto” lifestyle. Considering that Volkswagen adopted the “Das Auto” motto in 2007, we’re pretty certain that Opel is entitled to poke VW, but there's a sense of envy in the adjacent release.

A recent release from Russelsheim is titled “Kadett B Celebrates 50th Birthday: “Opel Kadett. Das Auto,“ and its intro is “Opel used this advertising slogan for its bestseller that sold over 2.6 million units.” Don’t know about you, but this automotive birthday party’s theme is too in-your-face and not factually correct. Opel’s best-selling compact model is the Astra F that sold 4.13 million examples from 1991 to 1997.

There is nothing wrong with the manufacturer’s outgoing motto (Wir Leben Autos), but the Kadett B’s punchline isn’t exactly the soul of a 50th anniversary birthday party. The provocation does not end here though. Find a reason why this passage deserves to be mentioned in an anniversary press release: “Long before VW entered the GTI class, the Rallye Kadett introduced in 1966 was the forerunner of all compact sports cars.” Bruce Lee didn't know cars, but he once said that showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.

In the Kadett B’s defense, Opel had a lot going on with this car. The fastback sports car styling inspired by the original Mustang, the fact that it was sold in 120 countries, the 1.1-liter engine of the S model and later 1.9-liter lump, these are the things worth remembering. And on that bombshell, Opel boasts that the B adopted the 12V on-board voltage system when “competitors from Cologne, Wolfsburg and Munich were still content with six volts.” We get the idea, okay? Now launch that Astra K already.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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