Although Paris was the principal French car-manufacturing centre, there were many makers of motorcars in provincial towns and cities who earned a living supplying largely a local clientèle. One such was Automobiles Barré of Niort in the western Poitou region.
The firm started in the early 1890s as a producer of bicycles and by the turn of the century had added motorcars to its output. In reality, like many smaller 'manufacturers' of the period, Barré was essentially an assembler of components, buying these in from firms such as Lacoste & Battmann or Malicet et Blin, with engines supplied by De Dion Bouton, Aster, Gnome or Buchet. Barré's diverse range of cars was sold largely within its region, and there does not appear to have ever been a British agent. When Barré went out of business in 1930 it was worldwide economic events, not any specific weakness with its products, that brought this about.