The Ballot brothers, Edouard and Maurice, founded their company in 1905. Before the World War I they manufactured automobile and marine engines. The company was re-founded as Etablissements Ballot SA in 1910.
Edouard Ballot was well-known as a designer of reliable engines. He helped Ettore Bugatti in developing his first engines. The company flourished during World War I as they produced aero engines for the French government.
After the World War I, the brothers expanded their business with the development of complete automobiles. As was common practice, racing was the preferred marketing tool to demonstrate the capabilities of their product. The company entered motor racing with a straight-eight cylinder 4.9 litre car for the 1921 French Grand Prix. As well as racing engines, the company made a range of road engines which were fitted to their own production cars. In 1931 the company was taken over by Hispano-Suiza. Ballot closed down in 1932.