The environmentally friendly car manufacturer Smart was established in 1993 after Swatch CEO Nicola Hayek joined forces with Daimier-Benz. This collaboration combined Hayek's innovative design ideas and consumer philosophy with Mercedes-Benz's knowledge of quality engineering and production.
Smart cars' ethos of providing affordable city cars came to life when production began in its first factory in France in 1994. This was followed by a second factory that was opened in late 1997. The initial design pioneered the company's goals of producing a car that allowed for easy parking and offered reliability, while promoting Smart sales as a stylish compact car for environmentally conscious consumers.
Swatch's involvement in the brand came to an end in 1998, when Daimier-Benz purchased the Company shortly after the introduction of the City-Coupe model. However, popularity started to increase as the company's unique set of revolutionary ideas generated excitement across European countries.
The development of the tridon safety cell insured the cars could withstand and absorb impacts from vehicles much bigger than themselves. Smart continued to use and explore these original design features and developed its range with the production of models such as the Smart Forfour Sedan, the Smart Roadster-Coupe and the Smart Roadster between 2003 and 2004.
Unfortunately, these models did not increase Smart sales as the company had originally hoped, prompting CEO Dieter Zetsche to produce a new business plan and rechristen the City-Coupe as the Fortwo.
The new Fortwo cdi could be claimed as the manufacturer's greatest achievement; the model boasts exceptionally low emissions of 88 g/km and is a popular SMART secondhand car choice. The diesel SMART uses a small injection engine to produce impressive economical results. The development of the micro-hybrid drive system highlights the brands commitment to low emission and fuel costs.