Smart ForTwo Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary

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Although it's only been in the U.S. for less than a year, 2008 does mark the tenth anniversary of the miniscule Smart ForTwo city car.

Daimler celebrates the car's official production launch in 1998, but the origins of the Smart ForTwo go as far back as the 1993 Frankfurt motor show, when the MCC Swatch City Coupe concepts were first unveiled.

So what's changed over ten years?; From a quick glance at the car, the answer is precious little.; Yes, we know both the first and second-generation ForTwos are considerably different, but much of the car - notably its packaging, interchangeable body panels, and the Tridon safety cell - have carried through intact.

What has transformed, however, is Daimler's attitude towards marketing the car.; When it launched in 1998, ForTwos were sold in eight countries.; Conveniently enough, these were all grouped within the European Union.; Thoughts to expand the brand's presence worldwide were yet to be realized; suggestions of selling ForTwos in America were all but laughed at.

Today, ForTwos can be bought in some thirty-seven countries worldwide, including both the U.S. and Canada.; Come 2009, China will become the thirty-eighth Smart market.

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