Your Next New Car May Not Smell Like A New Car

Many of us look forward to that new car smell when we purchase a new vehicle. So much so, that you can even buy air fresheners designed to give your old car that new car smell. But apparently, that’s somewhat unique to us here in North America.

According to Ford, people in China for example, consider that smell offensive. The smell assessors at Ford, whose China sales are down 7 percent this year, carry out 300 tests a year, a third more than their counterparts in Europe. They rate the odor of all materials used in a car from “not perceptible” to “extremely disturbing.”

Pungent materials, from carpets to seat covers and steering wheels, are noted as smelling of anything from “burnt tire” and “bad meat” to “moth balls” or “dirty socks.” Some are sent back to the supplier.

Seats for Ford cars in China are stored in perforated cloth bags to keep them ventilated before being installed, as opposed to plastic wrapping in the U.S. market where consumers are less concerned about chemical smells.

In an effort to keep costs down, they may soon be using the same materials worldwide. That would mean a loss of that odor (or aroma) depending on your point of view, for us here in the U.S.

More from Chuck Taylor
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