Smart Automobile is a German automotive company and division of Daimler AG, based in Böblingen, Germany. It ranges in microcars and subcompacts, primarily the Fortwo and Forfour with its primary assembly plants located in Hambach, France and Novo Mesto, Slovenia. Marketed in 46 countries in Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia and Europe, production of the Fortwo had surpassed 1.7M units by early 2015. The design concept for the company's automobiles began at Mercedes-Benz in the early-70s and late-80s. After brief backing by Volkswagen, the first model was released by Daimler-Benz in October 1998. Several variants on the original design have been introduced, with the original being the "Fortwo".