The original concept behind Smart came the CEO of Swatch, Nicolas Hayek, who wanted to a compact, fuel efficient car for the city.

Initially the Swiss watch maker began working with Volkswagen, but the latter got cold feet and pulled out in 1993. Swatch then joined forces with Daimler, with Swatch owning 49 percent and Daimler-Benz the other 51 percent.

The company’s first vehicle was internally referred to as the Mercedes City Car (MCC), but Swatch wanted something more like Swatch Car or Swatchmobile. The two eventually settled on Smart, short for Swatch Mercedes Art.

Smart was officially formed in 1994, and began producing the City Coupe (now ForTwo) in 1998. Swatch was bought out by Daimler in 1998 also.


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