Seeking an alternative to water power for driving his textile factory's machinery, Swiss industrialist Adolph Saurer
developed a stationary internal combustion engine, which was installed in 1888. Improved versions followed and in 1896 Saurer used one of these to power his first automobile. That first Saurer had a 5hp twin-cylinder engine and was also produced under licence in France by the Koch company. Saurer's next car of 1903 was more advanced. Designed by his son Hippolyt, a qualified engineer, it featured a 4.4-litre four-cylinder sidevalve engine, four-speed gearbox and chain final drive. One of Saurer's patents was for a compressed-air starter, and this ingenious device was adopted by Brasier
. Saurer soon switched to shaft drive and enlarged the engine to 5.3 litres. It then added a 50/60hp luxury model to the range, powered by a 9.2-litre development of the same engine.