The accident: The Opel Astra puts everything it has between the other party involved in the incident and Anna Katharina Dionysius – and pays the ultimate price for saving the young woman who escapes with minor injuries. She then takes to Facebook to praise her “red hero” and thank the Opel engineers for their “great work”.
At the same time as these dramatic events are taking place, Opel is preparing the celebrations for 500 million vehicles built by GM including 68 million made by Opel. The Dionysius case is immediately brought to the organizers attention.
Prelude: General Motors is celebrating an impressive production milestone. Since the foundation of the company in 1908, the group has built more than 500 million vehicles – no other carmaker can look back on such an extraordinary figure. GM decides to celebrate the 500 million milestone across the globe. Almost simultaneously to the celebrations in Rüsselsheim, loyal customers are invited to events in North and South America and Asia. Anna Katharina Dionysius makes it onto the list. She joins 50 other loyal customers in Rüsselsheim for a plant tour, the ceremony at the assembly line and the following dinner with the management board in the historic classic cars garage.
“This milestone is a lot more than an impressive number. 500 million cars represent 500 million customers, their stories and experiences.”
Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann
The happy end: At Opel, the production line was stopped for a while. Insignias and Zafira Tourer have to wait patiently while Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann speaks to the employees, invited customers and loyal dealers. “This milestone is a lot more than an impressive number. 500 million cars represent 500 million customers, their stories and experiences. We would like to thank these customers 500 million times for their loyalty and their trust. We are privileged to play such an important part in their lives.”
Then he calls out a name: Anna Katharina Dionysius. A hesitant small figure approaches the barrier tape. Neumann tells the story of her accident, the Facebook post and that she obviously needs a little bit of help. The Opel Group CEO helps Opel driver relax and leads her into the spotlight. He says some calming words to Anna before the music kicks in and a brand new Zafira Tourer rolls off the production line – Anna Katharina Dionysius’ new Opel. The young woman’s eyes fill with tears and even Neumann has to take a deep breath. Spectators and guests break into spontaneous applause. The faces say it all – the right person has been selected. Anna is one of five GM customers worldwide to receive a new car, representative for the countless Opel, Chevy and Buick fans.
The celebrations move into the classic cars garage where the evening end in the company of Laubfrosch (Tree Frog), Admiral, a dozen Kapitäns, unique concept cars, touring car champions and rallye stars. Throughout the dinner the guests keep saying how much they enjoyed the show – with the hero of the day: Anna Katharina Dionysius.
of the OPEL PRODUCTION
2 millionth: Opel Kapitän, 1956
25 millionth: Omega A Caravan, 1989
10 millionth: Rekord Caravan, 1971
50 millionth: Omega B Limousine, 1999
Text: Roland Korioth, Photos: Andreas Liebschner (Asterion)