Julien Belleville had been a maker of marine boilers from around 1850. Louis Delaunay (1843-1912) joined the firm in 1867 and married Delaunay's daughter changing his name to Delaunay-Belleville and succeeded Julien to become in charge of the company. S.A. des Automobiles Delaunay-Belleville was formed in 1903 by Louis Delaunay and Marius Barbarou. Barbarou's family owned the boiler making company St. Denis in Belleville, with boiler design influences inspired by the company. Marius had experience working for Clement, Lorraine-Dietrich and Benz and was responsible for design and styling. The first car was exhibited at the 1904 Paris Salon and in 1906 SA des Automobiles Delaunay Belleville was formed to look after car manufacture.
Most of the models were powered by inline-six engines, with a few four cylinder engines. A pressurized system of pumps and oil ways for lubrication was one of the first of its kind, most cars of the day having a drip system.
The Delaunay-Belleville were favorite automobiles of Russian Tsar Nicholas II. Other royal owners included King George I of Greece and King Alphonso XIII of Spain. Jules Bonnot, the famous French anarchist gangster, used a Delaunay-Belleville for his first hold-up.
By the late 1920s the Delaunay-Belleville had lost its prestige and converted to truck and military vehicles production. In 1936 the previously separate car company was merged with the Delaunay Belleville parent. The factory was sold to Robert de Rovin in 1946 and used to make minicars.