Mercedes Benz, which is part of Daimler-Chrysler Auto Group, manufactures the Smart car. The car was originally only intended for the European market, but as gas prices began to rise in the United States, Mercedes Benz decided to expand its market presence in the country.
Mercedes Benz and Daimler-Chrysler Auto Group teamed up with the Penske Automotive Group to be the exclusive distributor of the Smart car. Since 1998, the car has been in production in a number of European countries, but it didn't become available in the United States until 2008. As of June 2015, the Smart car is the smallest car sold in North America.