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Smart Cars

Product analysis: the basic Smart

The market
The basic smartTM is aimed at style-conscious people who want a small car that is:

Technical specification

Product function

The smart is small and ideal for use in towns.


The body shell is made from steel. The body panels are made from Zenoy, a PBT PC alloy that is impact resistant and coloured the whole way through (this means that a slight scratch does not show up). However, if there is a serious bang, the panel can be replaced and the broken part recycled. The lights are made from PC. The safety belts and air bags are made from PA. The interior trim, seats, upholstery, dashboard, fuel systems, other reservoirs and many under-the-bonnet components are also made from plastics. The steel body is sprayed with powder paints that do not contain harmful substances. This removes the need for solvents, emissions, paint sludge and waste water.


The body panels and most of the plastic components are injection moulded. The components of the steel frame are pressed and welded together.


To ensure that it is safe, the basic smartTM has:



Designers from Swatch (the Swiss watch company) were involved in the design of the smart. As a result, the overall visual concept is stylish and contemporary. The cars come in innovative colours. Some of the trims are interchangeable, so that they can be co-ordinated with the driver's clothes.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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