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Smart (automobile)

Smart (sometimes called the MCC Smart) is a very small 2-seater automobile manufactured in Hambach, France by Micro Compact Car GmbH, part of DaimlerChrysler established in 1994. The car was launched in 1998.

The car, intended primarily for urban use, is powered by small petrol or diesel engines. It is light (740 kg), its construction based on a reinforced steel shell with plastic body panels. Its short length (2.5 m) means that two Smarts can share a normal-size parking bay.

The project was a originally supported by Swatch (the Swiss watch company), and was nicknamed the Swatchmobile. The car was supposed to be full of very innovative features (such as hybrid engine[?]) and to be an affordable car for young people.

Being inexperienced in automobiles, Swatch teamed in a joint venture with Daimler-Benz to finalize and produce the product.

When the car issued it was far from expectations: technology was conventional and it was more expensive than most small 4-seater cars sold in Europe.

The joint venture experienced heavy losses and Swatch pulled out.

The car is popular in Europe and Japan. It is the only non-japanese car that fulfills the regulations for Keicars. Although one of the cars is an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the car is not available in the USA.

See also: smart car

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