Ford issued a patent application to help get rid of the "new car" smell after learning that over 10% of their customers in China despise it.
Whenever you buy a new car – no matter what the make or model may be – one thing always comes along with it: that new car smell. Here, a majority of people love that smell. It's pleasant, reminds you of your brand new purchase, and the fact that you know it will eventually go away makes it better. After all, you only have so much time to take it in before it disappears for good. However, there are some people who don't like that smell at all – and Ford has decided to address this small yet important matter.
As revealed by The Verge this past Tuesday, November 20th, Ford issued a patent application to help get rid of the new car smell. This came about after the American car company learned that over 10 percent of their customers in China despise this particular smell. While 10 percent may sound insignificant, it becomes significant when you think about the country that has over a billion citizens. That 10 percent matters in a country as densely populated as China!
The new car smell is said to come from materials such as leather and wood being heated from a car's interior. Ford's proposed solution to eliminating the new car smell is to speed up this process. According to their patent application, a semi-autonomous or fully autonomous car will drive itself to a sunny place, park there, turn on its heat, open its windows just a bit, and then run the engine intermittently. The idea here is that the car will “bake” away the "new car" smell.
This idea as a whole may come off as strange, or even unnecessary. While the massive car company has had a reputation for patenting some of the oddest ideas for their vehicles, they could use the help right now. Ford's sales have gone down within China over the past two years. The majority of the blame for this comes from Ford wanting to control their operations in the country, rather than using any local expertise. Although the company has relented a bit by hiring a Chinese automotive executive to run Ford within the country, it's unknown whether that has brought about real change.
While this patent application may seem strange, there's no doubt that Ford is trying its best to appeal to its Chinese customers. Whether this patent comes through, and whether customers respond to this change positively, remains to be seen. But it will certainly be interesting to watch.