Car maker Nissan employs a staff member who has “improved senses” – to make sure its products have the all-important “new car smell”.
Peter Karl Eastland holds an MA in Chemistry and Forensic Pathology from the University of Leicester.
But he also has an extremely keen sense of smell, a gift he recognized from an early age, which allows him to identify more than 15 olfactory categories.
Nissan admitted he had a ‘flair for the job’ and appointed him ‘chief odor assessment engineer’ at its European Technical Center in Cranwell, Bedfordshire.
Her job is to ensure that the experience of living aboard her new Qashqai model is not compromised by unpleasant odors.
Peter, nicknamed the ‘Nose of Nissan’, said: ‘I remember when I was young playing games where we had to identify different foods, like the flavors of crisps, candies or drinks by their scent alone.
âI was able to correctly identify the difference between private label supermarket products and big brand products, even when the flavor was supposed to be the same.
âAt Nissan, I work with many different materials, for example polymers, rubbers and adhesives.
âHaving a trained nose means I can tell the difference between faux and real leather, or fabric and fabric, and so on.
âWe aim to provide the best sensory experience to the customer. As tastes and preferences change over time, smell remains a constant.
âTherefore, it’s part of our job to make sure that any material we use will always be perfect in terms of smell and that all the senses are harmonized. “
In conjunction with Nissan’s engineering and manufacturing teams, Peter and his team test all materials, such as the soft material used for the new 3D diamond quilted seats under various conditions to replicate real environments.
They should consider that the chemical properties of these materials, such as odor, can change with temperature.
When a potential new material or chemical negatively affects the overall interior feel, Peter and his colleagues will identify alternatives to ensure the âsanctityâ of the new car smell.
The appraisal process combines objective and subjective appraisal, resulting in a rigorous process that spares no effort in the pursuit of that perfect new car smell.
David Moss, senior vice president of research and development for the region, added: âThis new car smell is not just a consequence of the manufacturing process.
âMonths of work are spent throughout the development phase of the new vehicle to carefully analyze the use of materials and chemicals, such as seat fabric, adhesives and polymers, to ensure that ‘they do not combine to generate an unpleasant odor for the car. occupants.
âThis reflects Nissan’s efforts to make the all-new Nissan ownership experience exactly what our customers hope and expect, even in this very specialized field. “