Coming from a approach between Mercedes-Benz and Swatch watches, smart is an original entity of Daimler-Benz AG.

How does this idea grow ?

In 1972, Mercedes engineer Johann Tomforde designed a compact prototype not exceeding 2.50 meters. However, neither this project nor a second from 1981 succeeds in view of safety criteria and estimation of production costs. At the beginning of the 1990s, Nicolas Hayek, the inventor of Swatch watches, develops the idea of a popular and ecological micro-city car with electric motors in the wheels and with some interchangeable coloured bodyparts. In 1994, thanks to an agreement with Mercedes, the company Micro Compact Car AG (MCC) is founded in Switzerland but finally Nicolas Hayek resells his shares to Daimler- Benz AG due to diverging visions. In 1997, the smart city coupé (fortwo) is revealed and delivered in 1998.

Where does the name come from ?

The name smart is the combination of Swatch's "S", Mercedes "M" and the suffix "art". Moreover, in English, smart means intelligent but also precious and elegant.

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