The most iconic garage in Switzerland delivered cars at the push of a button
Smart tower is empty – because cars have become too big
25 years ago, Smart came up with something to sell its speedsters: the Smart towers. There is now only one left in Switzerland. Will he ever come back to life?
Published: 17 minutes ago
There are currently only a few special speedsters left in the legendary Smart Tower.
Patrick Bergerreporter economy
In 1997, Smart had a brilliant idea! The Mercedes subsidiary wanted to exhibit its speedsters in special towers. The smart towers. They caused a stir. First of all because they were empty until 1998. The reason: Smart had problems with driving safety. Keyword moose test. The small cars threatened to tip over. But Mercedes got it under control. The two-seater, initiated by Swatch boss Nicolas Hayek (1928-2010), became a bestseller.
In Switzerland, the iconic towers were built in Wallisellen ZH, Bern, Basel and St. Gallen. Clearly visible from the highway. Spectacular free advertising. A landmark. You could order the copy you were looking for from the seventh floor using the touchscreen. A few minutes later it was ready for a test drive. There’s never been anything like it.
Towers razed to the ground
It looks different today. The towers in Bern, Basel and St. Gallen were razed to the ground. There are only four such towers left in the world, the last one in Switzerland is in Wallisellen ZH, on the A1 directly at the Glatt center. However, instead of the 27 Smart that can be accommodated in it, only a few exclusive special models of the two-seater are on display in the tower.
The reason: Kenny’s – exactly: the one with the “fine coffee” – has built a new building just a stone’s throw away. “The Käfeli stays,” promises Marc Eichenberger (37), who has been managing the large company with branches in Wettingen AG, Wallisellen ZH, Dietlikon ZH and Dällikon ZH as Managing Director and CEO since 2016.
“Then the cars fit back into the tower”
But why isn’t the tower in Wallisellen demolished? Eichenberger: “The new generation with the Smart #1, which will go on sale in the summer, has gained some love handles. That’s why it no longer fits in the tower,” he says.
However, Eichenberger is certain that Smart will soon be producing smaller models again – all of them electric. The joint venture with the Chinese car manufacturer Geely has already secured the name #2. “Then the cars will fit back into the tower. And we have the craziest showroom in Switzerland again!”