In the late 1980s, SMH (makers of the Swatch brand of watches) CEO Nicolas Hayek began developing an idea for a new car using the same type of manufacturing strategies and personalization features used to popularize Swatch watches. Realising this task would be difficult on their own, they entered discussions with other vehicle manufacturers. An agreement was reached in 1991 with Volkswagen. The project was terminated when Ferdinand Piech became CEO in 1993 as VW had their own plans for a micro car.
Nicolas Hayek suspecting Piech's intentions had already entered into an informal arrangement with Daimler-Benz AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and in 1994 an announcement was made on the new agreement.
One of the first controversies at MCC was the name of the car itself. Nicolas Hayek insisted it retain 'Swatch' in some way: "Swatchmobile", or "Swatch Car". Daimler-Benz refused, and pushed for a neutral name. The final name settled upon was Smart, an acronym that had been previously used internally by MCC for Swatch Mercedes Art.
The smart car was launched in 1998 and shortly afterwards Daimler bought out Swatch. Various models were launched thought the next few years including the roadster, crossblade, Forfour but the only one that remains in production is the Smart Fortwo.
Despite their relatively short and turbulent history, Smart Fortwo's are still popular with buyers looking for a compact city car. Providing your smart has a good service history and has been looked after then selling a smart car can be done quickly and easily at the right price.