1902 Mors rear-entrance tonneau
4cyl 8 hp
1903 Mors rear-entrance tonneau
4 cyl 18 hp 4.6 ltr. Type N
1898 Mors 6.5 hp V4 engine
The Societe de l'Electricity et des Automobiles Mors (incorporated
in 1898) had an usual background, dating back to 1851 when a firm
had been set up in Paris to make artificial flowers with metal
wire stems. These stems were paper-wrapped and the machinery used
for this was soon adapted to produce insulated electrical wires.
In 1874 Louis Mors jnr bought the company and gave it his name.
His two sons, Emile and Louis, both graduates of the Ecole Centrale
des Arts et Manufactures (a superior technical college in Paris),
took over the business in 1880 and expanded the firm's activities
into many branches of electrical engineering. In 1886 Mors engaged
Henri Brasier as Chief Engineer.
Louis Jnr bought a Panhard-Levassor car in 1892 and four years
later the brothers began making motorcars. At a time when most
French cars had ignition by hot-tube, Mors, not surprisingly,
relied on electrics. The v-4 rear-engined Mors cars of 1897 were
an immediate success and when in 1899 Brasier designed a car with
a vertical mounted engine the firm struck gold. It was a blow
to the company when Brasier left in November 1901 but by then
Mors had already established itself as a leader in the automobile
world with a run of racing successes culminating in Gabriel's
first place driving a 70hp Mors in the heroic 1903 Paris-Madrid
race. Such publicity created a strong demand and although output
was never large (300 cars in 1903) Mors were in a seller's market
and priced accordingly. Profits in 1902 were 1.2-million francs,
shareholders received a 15% dividend and again in 1903, but the
following year it was down to 6% and this was the last they were
ever to receive.
Complacency in design and poor management severly damaged the
company, the decline being rapid with losses as early as 1905
running at 1/2-million francs per annum, and these were to rise.
Although Mors struggled on it was not until 1908 when Andre Citroen
became chairman that a level of recovery was achieved, but Mors
never regained its days of glory. In 1925 Citroen (in the mass-production
market with cars bearing his own name since 1919) bought the Mors
factory and there were no more Mors motorcars.