In 1900, France was the world's forefront of the Automotive industry, with 11 manufacturers, which were producing approximately 5,000 vehicles per year. Among these, perhaps the most important was De Dion Bouton, which at the time was one of the largest Firms, building around 1,500 cars and 5,000 engines per year. Founded in 1883 in Paris by count Jules Albert De Dion and Georges Bouton in Puteaux, the "De Dion, Bouton et Cie" quickly established itself as one of the most prominent Companies in the Automotive sector. After much success in experimenting with steam-powered machines, in the early 1890's De Dion begun to experiment with internal combustion engines. After designing some successful multi-cylinder units, it eventually produced a successful 137cc single cylinder engine, which thanks to the revised ignition system it was capable of 3,000 rpm maximum.
Perhaps the De Dion name is more famous with the rear suspension type used in the sportscars of the 1960ies and in particular with Alfa Romeo but it was mostly known in the early days of the XX century as the largest and most important engine suppliers in the world. Over 140 car manufacturers used De Dion Bouton's engines, most notably Isotta Fraschini, which used a single cylinder engine in its Tipo 1902.
In the early 1900's De Dion begun building much more complex and highly sophisticated cars, introducing in 1905 its first 4-cylinder design, which was sold alongside its successful series of singles and v-twin engines. Using modular construction, the Firm was able to grow and by 1912 it was offering up to 16 different models, which were ranging from 1,008cc to 4,398 cc engines, including the first ever production V8, with a displacement of 2,972cc. In particular the 10HP and 20HP model cars, produced in various types between 1903 and 1914, represented the Firm's first offering of a medium-sized automobile, which reflected the desire of the clientele to have more powerful and larger automobiles instead of De Dion's more typical and less powerful single cylinder motorcars.