Smart etymology: What does its name and its letters mean?

Smart makes small rear-engine, rear-wheel drive cars targeted at city dwelling folk. That much we all know, but where does its name come from?

Smart originally started out a joint venture between Swatch, the Swiss watch company, and Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz.

Originally codenamed MCC or Micro Compact Car, the MCC name was used for the company’s official legal name. The two companies squabbled over the name, with Swatch initially wanting a variation name used for the car, such as Swatchmobile.

Eventually the two partners settled on Smart, which is a portmanteau of Swatch Mercedes Art.

Swatch left the partnership in 1998, not long after the launch of the first-generation Smart Coupe (now ForTwo).