German Car Once Owned By General Motors

German Cars Once Owned by General Motors

In the automotive industry, mergers and acquisitions have shaped the landscape, leading to collaborations and cross-ownership. One notable example is the former ownership of German car brands by General Motors (GM), the American automotive giant. This article delves into the history, types, and implications of this ownership.

History of GM’s German Car Ownership

GM’s involvement in the German automotive market began in the 1920s with its acquisition of Opel, a renowned German automaker. Over the years, GM expanded its German portfolio by acquiring other brands, including:

  • Opel (1929-2017)
  • Vauxhall (1925-2017)
  • Holden (1931-2017)

These acquisitions gave GM a significant presence in the European market and allowed it to leverage the engineering and design capabilities of German automakers.

Types of German Cars Owned by GM

During its ownership of German car brands, GM produced a wide range of vehicles, including:

  • Passenger cars: Sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs
  • Commercial vehicles: Vans, trucks, and buses
  • Luxury vehicles: High-end models under the Opel and Vauxhall brands

Differences Between German Cars Owned by GM and Other German Cars

While German cars owned by GM shared some similarities with other German vehicles, there were also notable differences:

Feature GM-Owned German Cars Other German Cars
Ownership Owned by General Motors Independent or owned by other automakers
Design Influenced by American design elements Typically more focused on German design aesthetics
Engineering Combined American and German engineering Primarily German engineering
Market Primarily sold in Europe and North America Sold globally

Ease of Ownership

Owning a German car owned by GM generally provided a balance of American and German characteristics:

  • Reliability: German engineering contributed to overall reliability.
  • Affordability: GM’s ownership allowed for more affordable pricing compared to some other German brands.
  • Parts availability: GM’s global presence ensured easy access to parts.

Process of Buying a German Car Owned by GM

Purchasing a German car owned by GM followed a similar process to buying any other vehicle:

  1. Research: Determine the specific model and features desired.
  2. Locate a dealer: Find an authorized dealership that sells the desired brand.
  3. Test drive: Experience the vehicle’s performance and handling.
  4. Negotiate: Discuss the price and financing options.
  5. Purchase: Finalize the purchase and take delivery of the vehicle.

Advantages of Owning a German Car Owned by GM

  • Combination of American and German qualities: Enjoyed the reliability of German engineering with the affordability of American ownership.
  • Wide range of models: Offered a variety of vehicles to suit different needs and preferences.
  • Established dealerships: GM’s extensive dealership network provided convenient access to sales and service.

Disadvantages of Owning a German Car Owned by GM

  • Less prestige: May not have the same level of prestige associated with other German brands.
  • Potential for American influence: Some models may have exhibited more American design elements than traditional German vehicles.
  • Ownership changes: GM’s sale of its German brands in 2017 may have affected future model availability and support.

How GM’s Ownership Affected the German Automotive Industry

GM’s ownership of German car brands had a significant impact on the industry:

  • Increased competition: GM’s presence in the German market increased competition and drove innovation.
  • Cross-pollination of ideas: The exchange of engineering and design concepts between GM and its German subsidiaries benefited both parties.
  • Global reach: GM’s global distribution network expanded the reach of German car brands.

What to Consider When Buying a Used German Car Owned by GM

When considering a used German car owned by GM, it is important to:

  • Inspect the vehicle thoroughly: Look for signs of wear and tear, maintenance records, and any potential issues.
  • Research the model: Understand the specific features, reliability, and potential maintenance costs of the desired model.
  • Consider the age and mileage: Older vehicles may require more frequent repairs and maintenance.


GM’s ownership of German car brands was a significant chapter in the automotive industry. The combination of American and German expertise resulted in a range of vehicles that appealed to a wide audience. While GM has since sold its German subsidiaries, the legacy of these cars continues to influence the industry.


Q: Why did GM sell its German car brands?
A: GM sold its German car brands in 2017 as part of a restructuring plan to focus on its core operations in North America.

Q: Are German cars owned by GM still reliable?
A: The reliability of German cars owned by GM varies depending on the specific model and year. However, they generally benefit from German engineering and GM’s global support network.

Q: Can I still buy new German cars owned by GM?
A: No, GM no longer owns any German car brands. New German cars are produced by independent German automakers or by other automakers that have acquired German brands.

Closing Statement

The ownership of German car brands by General Motors was a unique and influential period in the automotive industry. The resulting vehicles combined the strengths of American and German engineering, offering a range of options to consumers. While GM’s ownership has ended, the legacy of these cars continues to shape the industry and provide a testament to the power of collaboration.


The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. It is recommended to consult with qualified professionals for specific automotive advice.