Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, an American, was asked by Napoleon II to establish an arms factory in France in 1867. Hotchkiss had plants in New England and New York and had been a major supplier of weapons and ammunition during the Civil War. He patented the Hotchkiss revolving cannon in 1872. By the turn of the century and the advent of automobiles, the auto industry began relying on the company’s knowledge of special steels, high precision methods and machinery, and skilled machinists to build crankshafts, pistons, rods, gears, and valves. Hotchkiss introduced its first car in 1904 and produced successful road and rally cars. In 1948, the board of directors voted to buy a front-wheel drive car designed by J.A. Grégoire. This car was priced higher than other Hotchkiss models and sales were slow; few were made before all car production discontinued.