When’s a smart…smart? part I
Can smart transform itself from misunderstood genius to mainstream success?
The automaker smart is hoping to transform itself from misunderstood genius to mainstream success.
I’m drawn to the smart story, ethos, history—yes, even the cars—because the engineering concept was meant to provide affordable transportation for the masses, at low environmental cost from production to its end of life.
(Even if it ends as a cheap toy chewed up for YouTube views.)
Many people still own a smart fortwo and operate it as intended, as city cars, second cars, or because they simply like it. But not enough to ensure the smart concept’s survival.
The concept that enabled the smart cars didn’t just begin on a whim, in a design studio or focus group—but as a response to automotive manufacturing itself.
Problem? From its early work on city cars and its collaboration with Lebanese-Swiss watchmaker Nicolas Hayek, many decision-makers at key places in its parent company Daimler-Benz (then DaimlerChrysler, Daimler AG and now the Mercedes-Benz Group in a joint venture with Zhejiang Geely H…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to may I drive your car? to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.