In the early nineties Swatch, the world-renowned Swiss watch maker, set out to build an economical, eco-friendly car for the masses. Originally conceived by Swatch CEO, Nicholas Hayek, the Swatchmobile came to fruition after knocking on a few car manufacturers doors.GM turned their nose up at the idea, Volkswagen embraced the idea but was too broke at the time, so Daimler-Benz (Mercedes) decided to team up with Swatch to build the car and call it Smart. This stands for Swatch-Mercedes-Art. Smart huh! Well the car went into production in 1997 at plant in France known as Smartville. The Smart car got off to an okay start and few versions of the vehicle were made including a convertible, a roadster, a four passenger car known as the ForFour, and some sort of cross-thingy car. Apparently, having a smart idea isn’t always a successful one and Smart lost billions of Euros by 2006. Swatch, frustrated with sales and what they thought the car really was supposed to be pulled out and the Smart company was completely absorbed by Daimler-Benz.
Fortunately with Mercedes being in complete control of the Smart it should prove to be a car with staying power especially in these economic-minded times. The Smart that is currently being built is known as the Fortwo kind of like tea for’ oh never mind. They are cute, extremely strong with respect to crash resistance, and powered by a 1000cc engine which is the same size as the one in my motorcycle. For those of you who like to be really smart with your money they are currently testing an all-electric Smart Fortwo which I’m sure will be available soon. I haven’t had the pleasure to test drive one yet but I’m guessing if you gotta know just hop in one of your favorite markets shopping cart, hold something in your hands that resembles a steering wheel and have someone push you around the parking lot as fast as they can.