Over the past 80 years, the plant has been a constant major stakeholder in the economy of Limoges, and an essential player in the French ground defence. Within the framework of the increase in French military power before World War II, and with the aim of quelling the high level of unemployment then prevalent in Limoges, the French Air Force Repair Workshops took the decision to install three strategic workshops in LIMOGES, one of which was the route du Palais workshop. This 36-hectare site hosted the first workshops, the test benches and administrative offices. By 1940, the site had 3000 employees on its payroll.
The manufacturing activity at the site started with the reconditioning and production of military aircraft engines. The production facility manufactured the replacement parts required for reconditioning in addition to the new engines such as the Hispano aero engine.
On 9th February 1944, the plant was bombed by the Royal Air Force. The story goes that Captain Cheshire's squadron took care to fly over the site on multiple passes before bombing, to enable all of the workers to seek shelter. Only five injuries resulted, whereas the factory was practically razed to the ground and needed to cease production.
In 1946, the Armament Design and Production Department initiated the reconstruction of the site. Aero engine activities stopped and the plant turned its focus to the reconditioning of vehicles such as Dodge, which were being used by the French Army at the time. The plant was then entrusted with the task of repairing and maintaining the French Army fleet of vehicles, including the fabrication of new parts and components as well as equipment repairs. The success of the DODGE programme, with 1704 reconditioned vehicles, was to be followed by the GMC programme, which would conclude in 1965.