On July 2, 1998, a vehicle with an entirely new concept first rolled off the assembly line: the smart fortwo. On that date an extraordinary success story commenced in Hambach, France. Until now, the compact two-seater has become the vehicle of choice of more than 900,000 customers in 37 countries. The smart fortwo soon got cult status and is the only automobile which is still in production to be displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Since beginning of 2008 the smart is being successfully sold in the U.S. and starting from mid 2009 it will also be available in China. For 2010 the first smart electric drive of the current vehicle generation is planned.

In the tenth year since its market launch, the smart fortwo can look back on an impressive sales development. The trendy two-seater has not only become successfully established on the market during this time; over 150,000 customers have purchased a second-generation smart fortwo since the model was introduced in March 2007. All in all, far more than 900,000 smart fortwos have been delivered to customers since the two-seater was launched in 1998.

The smart fortwo in particular is the choice of customers with an individual lifestyle in many major cities all over the world. Whereas the car was initially offered in Germany and eight other European countries, the innovative two-seater is now sold in 37 countries on five continents, including in the U.S., South Africa, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, and Canada.

In mid-January 2008, smart’s U.S. sales partner, the Penske Automotive Group, began delivering the first vehicles to customers in the world’s largest automotive market. In total, 11,400 U.S.-Americans already took delivery of their very own smart cars.

The smart fortwo will also be available to Chinese customers from mid 2009 on, allowing the brand to enter another major automotive market. The vehicle is in effect custom-tailored to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of customers buying small cars in China. “In China, too, we are observing growing customer interest in our high-quality and economical smart fortwo. I am sure that many lifestyle-oriented customers in China’s cities will soon come to love its unique concept,” said Dr. Zetsche when smart’s entry into the Chinese market was announced at Auto China in April 2008.

At the end of last year, smart launched a pilot project in London, for which the company and selected fleet customers are jointly testing 100 smart fortwo electric drive to determine how the vehicles perform under conditions encountered in everyday use. “We are currently developing a smart fortwo with electric drive and lithium-ion batteries, and we plan to introduce an electric drive version of the current smart generation in 2010,” said Zetsche.“