It seldom happens that an established auto brand unexpectedly takes the world by surprise. What Opel have set in motion with their new models over the past two years is nothing less than a U-turn for the brand. Or a case of "re-parking", to use the language of the Rüsselheim company's huge advertising campaign. Opel is suddenly in trend.
This is best demonstrated by the Opel ADAM. Launched by Opel as a lifestyle city car and "best connected" small car, and presented on time for the traditional brand's 150th jubilee in September 2012, this is in many ways a complete one-off, as the three-door model, based on a shortened version of the Corsa D platform, sets itself well apart from the rest of the Opel product range. Mainly because this urban runabout completely bypasses currently established standards, offering instead independent design and high levels of personalisation. Examples of this are the name plate, which is attached not to the rear end but to the C-pillar, and the roof trim which in some variants is fitted with LEDs that light up to give the passengers the impression that they are under a starry night sky. With its diversity and configurability, the small ADAM is fun. And developing this fun element for Opel was one of the greatest challenges of all for EDAG.
Just as the brand is currently inviting people to change their attitudes so that car enthusiasts will at long last recognise Opel's innovative strength, the EDAG engineers working on the car - called "Junior" at the time- also had to make a number of adjustments in order to get the vehicle onto the road. In a development period of 35 months, their task was to develop for Opel a vehicle that would allow complete and individual configuration: not just the exterior colour but also the interior. This gave rise to a few surprised faces in Fulda. In the end, the interdisciplinary EDAG team cooperated with the Rüsselsheim-based auto manufacturer to develop the body, doors, windows, brake system, tank system, centre console and instrument panel in a surprisingly short space of time - not just for all the currently available models, which include the basic version, Jam (youthful trim level), Glam (more elegant) and Slam (for the sporty taste), but also for the special ADAM highlight: almost every detail in all four variants can be individually configured. From the front grille to the wing mirrors: the driver can, in effect, design his or her own Adam.
In many ways, the ADAM sets and caters for trends; not only when it comes to the social need for individuality, but also with regard to the work of a modern engineering service provider. It would seem that ready-made drafts have become a thing of the past: nowadays, development must be able to meet market requirements and respond to the needs of the individual. This in turn calls for great flexibility in both craftsmanship and the way people think. The problem is that standard development concepts are often too static to serve these needs. New approaches are required, also when it comes to the creation of development teams and implementation periods. With the work carried out on the Opel ADAM, EDAG proved that the staff at the Fulda branch are more than able to respond to these demands with high quality solutions. Not only because we have always been independent, and therefore more flexible, but also because EDAG engineers, though focusing on the car, never lose sight of the individual and his or her needs.