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Established as its own marque in 1994, Smart is currently a joint venture established by Mercedes-Benz AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding group. The company is known for its distinctive microcar and subcompact vehicles, which have a distinctly small exterior build.
The first Smart car was the 1998 Fortwo, a rear-engine, 2-passenger hatchback that came in two variations, one with an internal combustion engine and the other with an electric engine. The vehicle was launched at the 1998 Paris Motor Show, originally costing $12,000 (the equivalent of $19,948 in current value). The car had a petite length, measuring only 2.5 meters (8.2 feet). Today, Smart continues to develop a variety of micro and ultra mini vehicles. Its current model lineup includes the Forfour, Fortwo, Fortwo Cabrio, Smart Electric Drive, Crossblade, Forfour Brabus, Cabrio Brabus, Roadster, Roadster Brabus, Roadster Coupe, and Coupe Brabus. Smart has not offered its models in the US market since 2019 when it sold only 680 vehicles. Its highest US sales before pulling out of the US market occurred in 2008 when it sold 24,622 total units.
Smart has announced it intends to expand its EV line further, building upon the release of its 2022 all-electric SUV. There have been rumors of plans to add autonomous driving functions to this model, but these have not been confirmed. The company has also shown plans for a concept car with a panoramic glass roof, which Smart plans to build to be a bit larger than its current mini and ultra mini vehicles.