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Smart (marque)

Smart (stylized as smart) is a German automotive marqueSmart Automobile Co., Ltd. is a joint venture established by Mercedes-Benz AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2019 and aimed at producing Smart-badged cars in China to be marketed globally. The venture is headquartered in Ningbo. It produces small battery electric vehicles in their manufacturing plant in China, while previously the marque was known to produce microcars and subcompacts, primarily the Fortwo and Forfour, at Smartville in Hambach, Moselle, France and in the Revoz plant (Novo Mesto, Slovenia). Its distribution, marketing and aftersales activities in Europe are currently handled by smart Europe GmbH which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

The marque was founded in 1994 by Micro Compact Car AG (MCC), a joint venture between SMH and Daimler-Benz. MCC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler-Benz in 1998, and was subsequently renamed MCC smart GmbH, then smart GmbH. smart GmbH was then absorbed by DaimlerChrysler (later Daimler AG) in 2006, making smart a marque within the Mercedes-Benz Cars division.

The name Smart derives from the cooperation of the Swiss company Swatch with Mercedes-Benz: “Swatch Mercedes ART”. In its branding, the company lowercases its logotype and the logo incorporating a “c” and an arrow for the car’s “cute”, “compact”, and “forward-thinking” styling, respectively.


   The origin of the smart brand goes back to 1972 when Daimler came up with a concept for a small city car in response to increasing congestion and intensifying air pollution in urban areas.

   In 1994, Nicholas Hayek, the inventor of the Swatch watch, approached Mercedes-Benz to realize his vision of an “ultra-urban” car. As a result, Daimler partnered with Nicholas Hayek and his company Swatch, the funky Swiss watchmaker, and jointly established the smart brand.

The smart name comes from the combination of the Swatch and Mercedes names, together with “art” (Swatch Mercedes ART).

   In 1997, the smart brand made a big impact with the debut of the first smart concept car in 1997 at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA).

   In 2007, smart introduced a test fleet of 100 fully electric fortwos in London.

   In 2008, The Penske Automotive Group started distributing smart cars in the United States.

   In 2011, the full mass production of the smart fortwo EV commenced.

   In 2019, the parent company Mercedes-Benz AG and the Chinese mobility powerhouse: Geely Holding Group formed the smart Automobile Co., Ltd.

   In 2020, smart Europe GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary, was founded in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany, and is responsible for all sales, marketing and after-sales activities in the European market.

In 2023, smart teamed with NVIDIA to develop Develop Intelligent Mobility Solutions and New Data Centre.

smart MODELS

   1998-2000: Smart City-Coupé (C450) & City-Cabrio

   2002: Smart Corssblade

   2001-2007: Smart City-Coupé (C450) & City-Cabrio (renamed Fortwo in 2004)

   2001-2004: Smart K (for Japan only)

   2003-2005: Smart Roadster Coupé (R452) and Smart Roadster Cabrio (C452)

   2004-2006: Smart Forfour (W454)

   2007-2015: Smart ForTwo (C451) and Smart Fortwo Cabrio (A451)

   2008-2016: Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (formerly known as EV) (C453) and Smart Fortwo Cabrio Electric Drive (A453)

   2014-2019: Smart Forfour

   2017-2022: Smart EQ Forfour 2022: the smart #1, the brand’s first compact all-electric SUV, and the all-new #3, the brand’s first-ever sports utility coupé.

*Information from and

**Video published on YouTube by “World Cars Evolution

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