Eighteen Years After Its First Model, smart Celebrates Two Million Units Sold

There is absolutely no doubt that Daimler AG took a big chance with its smart cars. Even though nothing happens in the automotive industry without some through research in advance - let alone the birth of a new brand - the sheer weirdness of the smart fortwo was always going to be a gamble.
smart 2,000,000 milestone 1 photo
Photo: smart
Eighteen years and two million cars sold later, it's hard to say whether that gamble has paid off or not, but the fact that smart keeps marching on is proof that the market still needs a car most people would describe as a motorized shopping cart. But we're pretty sure the smart has been called worse.

Daimler was the first to realize there was a potential demand for a premium micro car that would fit perfectly in heavy urban traffic. The smart fortwo was built to fill that niche, but after a while, the new brand's range grew. First, it was the Roadster - a diminutive two-seater with sportier genes than the fortwo that is probably best known for failing to fit Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson in his entirety. Only slightly over 43,000 Roadster were ever produced, though.

The third member of the roster was the forfour, which, as the name suggests, could seat four people and had just as many doors. Built on a shared platform with the Mitsubishi Colt, the forfour lacked the perkiness of its smaller brother, therefore being nothing more than a much too expensive small car. After an eight-year hiatus, the forfour returned in 2014, this time built in cooperation with Renault.

Right now, smart offers a convertible version of the fortwo and has just released the details on the electric version which will be introduced in Paris. It also has Brabus versions for all models using thermal engines, but don't be fooled by the name: they're nowhere near as fast as the badge would have you believe.

Smart products are currently available in 46 markets, with Germany acting as the most important, trailed by Italy and, somewhat surprising, China. For a country known for its exclusive "long wheelbase" models you can't find anywhere else, the Chinese living in the large urban conglomerates are quick to discover the benefits of owning a petite car.

Upon reaching this milestone, Dr. Annette Winkler, head of smart, had this to say: "The fact that worldwide smart sales have passed the two million mark shows the extent to which delighted customers around the world prefer our uniquely compact and unbelievably agile cars to any other car for city driving. Whether it's fitted with a combustion engine or an electric motor, whether it's a two-seater, a four-seater or a stunning cabrio – smart brings drivers plenty of joy and saves them time. For our customers smart is much more than 'just' a car."
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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