Chinese Buyers Hate New Car Smell, So Ford Wants To Eliminate It By Baking Its Cars

Ford is looking to remove the characteristic new car smell from the vehicles is sells in China, The Detroit Free Press reports.

That’s because, while many car buyers around the world absolutely love the new car smell, many in China don’t. In fact, they absolutely hate it!

According to the 2018 J.D. Power China Initial Quality Study, more than 10 per cent of drivers have complained about the new car smell.

“Unpleasant interior smell/odor remains the top industry problem in that market,” revealed J.D. Power senior director of global automotive Brent Gruber. “To put that in context, it is nearly double the problem rate of the second most prevalent problem, excessive fuel consumption.”

To solve this issue, Ford recently made a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a special odor-removal process. A vehicle’s new car smell is caused by organic compounds given off by the leather, plastic and vinyl as well as the chemicals used to attach and seal certain car parts. Ford’s patent application describes parking the car in the sun, opening the windows, and turning the engine, heater and fan on to eliminate the odor.

“While ‘new car smell’ is ingrained in American culture, we know Chinese customers dislike that scent. This patent is the result of years of research and is just one idea we are considering for future use,” senior technical leader in materials sustainability at Ford, Debbie Mielewski said.

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  • Axel Cortez

    but they love to put garlic inside the cars… Because that smells wonderful

  • LJ

    I trust those damn commies even less now.

  • eb110americana

    Well, a good portion of the developed world (the US included) sends their e-waste to China, where precious metals are harvested and then the detritus is burned out in the open. This leaves a lot of less affluent areas heavily polluted, to say nothing of the health of impoverished locals working the fires. Is it any wonder that there would be a negative connotation to materials out-gassing in a new car? That would be my guess as to the root of the stigma anyway.

  • john1168

    I went to the Shanghai Auto Show about 4 or 5 years ago and all of the cars manufactured in China had a lot of malodoriforous emanations… LOL 🙂 A few were pretty pungent in fact. Of course it didn’t help that their Expo Center didn’t have air conditioning in any of the buildings and it was a bit warm out.


    • TheAmerican

      Yeah but this is FORD we’re talking about

  • Bash


  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Try sitting in ANY domestic Chinese Branded vehicle and you will feel like you’ve been to a crack den. I had the misfortune of trying out several new Chinese cars recently and the interiors were SO overwhelming with a toxic odour coming from the plastics and adhesives used in their “construction”, I honestly nearly passed out. The new car smell in any European, Japanese or US car is infinitely more pleasant.

  • sidewaysspin

    Probably a genetic or just cultural thing, they probably have other preferences.

  • DMJ

    I have trouble understanding a car culture with people (not very tall, to be nice) that demand long wheel base cars like the 3-Series or an Audi A4…and now they dont want the new car smell…I hope that Ford makes a LWB Focus that smells like booty sweat for them, but I want my new car smell here in Europe.

  • You would think that with all the toxic air and pollution in China, Chinese would love the “new car smell.”

  • kachuks

    Why dont we have the line workers fart inside the damn things before leaving the factory?

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Given my most recent trip to a Chinese supermarket, a fish/shrimp smell would probably be a very popular option.

  • Bill Nguyen

    Man, they’re Asian.. just get the car smelling like fried chicken and everything will be good ???

  • Wandering_Spirit

    They should make interiors smell like stinky tofu, fried egg, garlic and similar stuff. That would be a hit. It is not entirely sarcasm. Those are familiar smells in some regions of China….they would go unnoticed. I remember some of my cars left under the scorching sun of an Italian island while i was at the beach somewhat smelling roastbeef once i was back. It made me feel hungry and the heat more tolerable.

    • SteersUright

      By your logic, American market cars should be made to smell like hot dogs, beer, pizza and baby back ribs.

      • Wandering_Spirit

        If they rant about the “new car smell”, yes. On a more realistic note, in Italy they keep new cars open for a few days in some indoor storage area, before delivery and do some treatment to reduce that smell. When you take delivery of the new car, the smell is obviously still there for a few months but it’s not so pungent.

  • SteersUright

    That “new car smell” is also highly toxic. Just google it. Its off gassing from various glues and plastics. Its wise to remove it as much as possible. Should adopt the same practice here.

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