All About smart Car History... It Started with Swatch smart Cars
Drill Down Page from ... (Stage 1a)
The history of smart car started back in 1995, when Swatch and Mercedes Benz decided to build a very small car for Europe. And so, the Swatch smart car was born!
Let's take a quick tour through smart car history...
Where Did the smart Car Come From?
I hear you asking this question, and it's a good one. It started in Europe, long before we Americans were even thinking about the need to drive such a small car...
1993: Swatch watch inventor, Nicolas Hayek, takes his ideas for an "ultra-urban" car to Mercedes-Benz and a joint venture is born.
1994: Mercedes-Benz engineers take on this challenge with a full development concept car.
1997: The smart fortwo vehicle debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with a fantastic response.
1998: This leads to full production of the fortwo at the "Smartville" plant in Hambach, France. The smart fortwo cars were being bought in Europe and were finding a home on the small roads and tight parking spaces.
2006: Plans were put in place to make the 2nd generation smart fortwo and introduce it to the United States.
2007: A smart USA division was created and is a division of the Penske Automotive Group headed by Roger Penske. They are the exclusive distributors of the smart fortwo in America, with 74 smartcenters located throughout the country.
Here's a few more facts... The smart company is a member of the Mercedes-Benz group, which belong to the Daimler-Chrysler Auto Group.
The smart fortwo car became available in the United States this past January (2008) and can be purchased through the $99 reservation program offered by smart USA.
The smart fortwo is off to a great start with over 30,000 reservations made and over 10,000 being delivered so far this year as of June 2008.
So... we learned a bit more about the history of smart car. Now it's time to continue our quest for knowledge by figuring out why are people buying them here in America.