From the Forest of Odes to the Rainforest

His workplace was once in prototype construction in Rüsselsheim. Wilfried Theiss has now been retired for over ten years. But of course he still remains loyal to the Opel brand, he emphasizes. And that’s not all: the 72-year-old continues to use the „sale to employees“ conditions, regularly buys a new model with a Blitz. “There is no better way to always drive a new Opel model,” he says. And he is very selective when the time comes to sell his Opel.

He will remember his last deal in particular for a long time. Wilfried Theiss has found a buyer for his Opel Insignia Sports Tourer who works at the European Space Agency (ESA). And he took the car with him to his place of work: to the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. “I had advertised the car on the Internet,” says the former Opel employee, “and it was lucky that my buyer was visiting his mother in the Forest of Odes (Odenwald).” His main residence is in France, where he rarely stays. He works in the space center near Kourou, a small town in French Guiana. The place from which Europe sends its rockets into space.

“According to the new owner, my Insiginia is very well suited to the tropical rainforest.”

– Wilfried Theiss – 

Former Opel employee Wilfried Theiss still takes advantage of the attractive “sales to employees” conditions. He currently drives an Opel Insignia.

But what pleased the former Opel employee most was that the buyer used to work for two other German automobile manufacturers and was actually looking for one of their models. “But nothing he found could match my Insignia.” Above all, the equipment that his used car had on board was convincing: “All-wheel drive, automatic climate control, leather seats, electronic tailgate, seat heating and seat ventilation.” The new owner was particularly impressed with the latter. Because French Guiana – the country is almost exactly the same size as Austria – is 97 percent covered with tropical rainforest, the humidity is somewhere between 70 and 80 percent, and temperatures in the region, which is not far from the Equator, regularly tops 30 degrees.

The Opel spent around two months on a container ship before finally arriving in South America, but the bureaucratic process for the transfer was manageable, the new owner told him. Because Wilfried Theiss is still in contact with the current proud owner of the Insignia Sports Tourer, he received a photo of the car parked at the entrance to the Guiana Space Center. The rocket in the background is an Ariane 5 model that welcomes visitors to the site. “The new owner has assured me that the Insignia is very well suited to the tropical rainforest,” says Wilfried Theiss happily.

February 2024

Text: Eric Scherer, Photos: privat