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. Matra entered Formula 1 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.
By merging with various companies Matra CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère built a very diversified group around Matra which is now named the Lagardère Group. Matra is now a brand of the Lagardère Group. The brand was used by several companies such as Aerospatiale-Matra and Matra Marconi Space
Matra produced a home computer, the Matra Alice.
On February 27, 2003 Matra annouced its intention to close its automobiles factory in Romorantin.