Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Matra was owned my the Floirat family. The name Matra became famous in the 1960s when it went into car production by buying Automobiles René Bonnet. Matra Automobiles produced racing cars and sports cars, and was very successful in racing.
By merging with various companies Matra CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère built around Matra a group diversified in medias, weaponery, high technologies, aeronautics and formerly in records production and distribution. A major part of this was the purchase of Hachette and the merger with WEA-Filippachi in 1981. This was merged with Matra in 1992 to form Matra Hachette Filippachi. The group is now named the Lagardère Group and Matra is a brand of the Lagardère Group.
Matra Hautes Technologies (Matra High Technology)
Matra Hautes Technologies (MHT) was the defence arm of Matra. The company was involved in aerospace, defence and telecommunications. In February 1999 Matra Hautes Technologies merged with aérospatiale to form aérospatiale-Matra. On July 10 2000 aérospatiale-Matra became part of EADS.
Divisions (as of aérospatiale merger)
- Matra Défense
- Matra Systèmes & Information
- Matra BAe Dynamics (50% British Aerospace)
Formed in 1996, Matra BAe Dynamics brought together the missile business of BAe (BAe Dynamics) and half of the missile business of Matra Défense. (The other half remained as Aerospatiale Matra Missiles).
- Matra Marconi Space (49% GEC)
Matra Espace was the space division of Matra which merged with the space operations of GEC (Marconi Space Systems ) in 1989 to form Matra Marconi Space. In 2000, it was merged with the space division of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) to form Astrium.
- Matra Nortel Communications (50% Nortel)
Matra road cars
The Matra name was first used for road cars with the Renault-powered Matra Djet (the english J sound like DJ for a Frech) that was an update of the Bonnet Jet.
The Djet was replaced with the Matra 530 was powered by a Ford Taunus V4 engine. Matra also developed a close partnership with Simca in the 1970s, producing Simca-engined sports cars like the Bagheera and Murena and the Matra Rancho , and early type of SUV which was based from the Simca 1100 pick-up bodyshell. This car remained in production into the '80s, after Simca's takeover by Peugeot.
After the failure of the Renault Avantime (build by Matra) on February 27, 2003 Matra annouced its intention to close its automobiles factory in Romorantin . In September 2003, Pininfarina SpA acquired Matra Automobile's engineering, testing and prototype businesses. The Company created is named Matra Automobile Engineering
- Matra Djet
- Matra 530
- Matra Bagheera
- Matra Murena
- Matra Rancho
- Renault Espace originaly designed and built by Matra.
Matra racing history
Matra entered Formula One in 1968 and Jackie Stewart became world champion driving a semi-official Cosworth-powered Matra entered by the British Tyrrell team in 1969. The firm was also successful in endurance racing with cars powered by its own V12 engine. The Matra 670 won le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974.
- Matra produced a home computer, the Matra Alice.
- Matra attempted, and failed to produce a personal rapid transit system, "Aramis."
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