Ten years ago, the auto world welcomed a new member, the Smart, a car that amazed everyone especially with its dimensions. Though jokes about the car’s size are still made, the Smart was a big hit, with three more versions following the original mini car, the sports cars Smart roadster and Smart roadster-coupé in 2003 and the four-seater smart forfour in 2004. Last year, the second generation Smart debuted and followed the success of its predecessor.
The Smart stroy started in 1989, when Nicolas G. Hayek, the inventor of the Swatch watch, announced plans to launch a small city car on the market. He realized he couldn’t accomplish that without help from an experienced partner, so he turned to Mercedes-Benz and the two founded Micro Compact Car AG with headquarters in Biel, Switzerland. Finally, in 1997 the smart city coupé celebrated its world premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, and production and sales started in 1998. In the same year, smart became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler-Benz AG (now Daimler AG). At its launch, the Smart was on sale in Germany and eight European countries, while today it is available in 37 countries worldwide (including the USA, since January 2008). From mid 2009 the smart fortwo will also go on sale in China, where Daimler has a lot of problems with the large amount of copycats.
So, a big “Happy Birthday!” for Smart, because it really was a car that revolutionized the “urban car” concept. Read more about it in the official press release.
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