The Hispano-Suiza automobile company was created in 1904 by Damián Mateu, a businessman from the metallurgical sector and a lawyer, and Marc Birkigt, a Swiss engineer.
The background of this relationship dates back to 1898 when the military man and engineer Emilio de la Cuadra Albiol founded the “Compañía General Española de Coches Automóviles Emilio de la Cuadra”, of which Birkigt was technical director. The main idea was to create an electric motor that ended up failing and the company declared suspension of payments. A year later, José María Castro Fernández, one of La Cuadra’s creditors, took over the technical staff of the old factory, including Birkigt, and founded the company “J. Castro, sociedad en Comandita, Fábrica Hispano-Suiza de Automóviles”. Again, a lack of financial calculation causes the closure of the company.
Thus, in 1904, one of the creditors, Damián Mateu Bisa, at the request of his friend Francisco Seix Zaya, contributed the capital to revive the Company, which would be renamed “La Hispano-Suiza, Fábrica de Automoviles, SA”, being himself the president and appointing Marc Birkigt technical director.
One of the great supporters of the brand was King Alfonso XIII, a great fan of cars and an enthusiast of the Hispano-Suiza, so much so that he commissioned a sports model that was baptized with his name and that was nominated as the first sports car of the automobile history.
The acquisition of Hispano-Suiza vehicles by renowned British, Italian, and American drivers who, during the 20s and 30s of the last centuries, achieved world records in the most outstanding competitions of the time, elevated the name of the brand. Likewise, notable figures in the society of the time contributed to this, such as Picasso, Einstein, Paul McCartney, Coco Chanel, Gustavo V of Sweden, Carlos II of Romania, or Luis II of Monaco.
From the beginning, the Hispano-Suiza were among the most reliable, most elegant, and sporty cars of the time. Currently, the great-grandson of the founder, Miguel Suqué Mateu, continues his commitment to technology, exclusivity and personalization of luxury after relaunching the brand in 2019, through his two major projects: the “Carmen” and the “Carmen Boulogne”, two electric hypercars of the latest generation.