Just a short time ago in America, automakers were complaining that it was too difficult for the industry to raise gas mileage in vehicles. Some carmakers claimed the timetable was too quick to meet government standards. It would be too expensive. The technology was too difficult.
A number of factors have combined to change that thinking. International automakers including Honda, Toyota and Mazda were making huge strides in offering cars and trucks with higher gas mileage. So market demand was one of the principle drivers.
American automakers respond to the challenge
But America also loves a challenge, and Chevy, Ford and Chrysler have all finally responded with vehicles that average from 25-45 miles per gallon, far higher than the typical MPG offered in their vehicles just a decade ago.
Domestic sales have increased as a result. American-made cars and trucks now compete on a pretty level playing field with foreign-made vehicles.
One of the leading innovators on this front has been the Ford Motor Company, whose vehicle fleet includes hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars and trucks are simultaneously leading the industry in terms of quality. The Ford F-150 remains one of the leading brands of trucks in terms of all-time sales.
Ford pursues the allergy-free vehicle
It turns out that while Ford keeps innovating in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental protection with reduced fuel consumption and emission, the company has also been pursuing interesting new product differentiators that may have deep appeal to millions of Americans, especially those who suffer from allergies.
Ford has now designed a Ford Fusion and other models whose interior materials at all the important touch-points are composed of hypoallergenic materials. The Mother Nature Network reports that the allergy-friendly Ford Fusion and other 2013 vehicles have fewer common allergens in high-touch areas like the steering wheel.
Taking nothing for granted
It is likely many customers take for granted the materials with which their vehicles are made. All it takes to change that opinion is a skin reaction to the plastic on a steering wheel and those problems come home full force. Ford engineers cut down use of latex, chrome, nickel, hexavalent chromium and other allergens from seats, steering wheel, armrests, seatbelts and other car cabin amenities where people sensitive to chemicals may have reactions. The list of tested materials was more than 100 components long. Of course, if you do buy a hypoallergenic car, it pays to use allergy free auto cleaners that are similarly chemical and allergy free.
Cars catching up with the allergy-free world
It makes sense that in a world where allergy sufferers can now buy many other types of “touch-sensitive” hypoallergenic products such as allergy free bedding, pillow covers and comforters that a vehicle should soon follow the lead.
Ford keeps going the distance with its new line of vehicles however. Even the new cabin filters (like home filters) are designed to reduce breathable pollens, mold and particulate matters than normally circulate and even recirculate throughout a vehicle. Allergy sufferers will appreciate the reduced dust and pollen, molds, smoke and other airborne allergens. Yet even with the technology now being employed in new vehicles, it can be prudent for allergy sufferers to take matters into their own hands. One wise investment is an auto air purifier with four-stage HEPA air cleaner.
Ford is paying attention to the needs of millions of Americans who suffer from chemical and airborne allergens. The measures taken by Ford will certainly not harm the sales to people who do not suffer from allergies, yet the commitment to reduce allergies in cars and trucks is an interesting and valuable contribution to a world where allergies and asthma affect between 40 to 50% of the population in many parts of the world.