Nissan to Upholster Cars in Fake Baby Skin

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on October 30th, 2012

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much weirder than upholstering cars in human leatherNissan Motor Company announces that it’s developing a synthetic material that looks and feels like human baby skin.

Cars.com’s Kicking Tires blog explains:

Engineers researched what material feels the most comfortable to drivers and passengers, and the answer is a texture that replicates baby skin.

By studying how humans touch surfaces and what textures feel comfortable, Nissan has developed new interior materials for possible use in its upcoming vehicles. The program is called Premium-feel Interior Concept, and it’s based on two findings: The closer something is to finger-pad softness, the better it feels. And the closer the surface texture is to a human fingerprint, the better it feels.

Surfaces to get the new materials include seats, armrests and instrument panels. To achieve the texture and softness of infant skin, Nissan is testing semi-aniline leather with a light fingerprint-type texture.

“This is a new material for armrests, which are in constant contact with hands. With the softness of a finger pad and a surface texture similar to a fingerprint, it creates the soft, comfortable feeling of baby skin,” the automaker said in a statement. [more]

I’m not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, synthetic leather soft enough to appeal to our most basic senses sounds ridiculously cool. On the other, upholstering cars in fake baby skin sounds horrific.

Nissan would be wise to think long and hard on how to brand this new product. Baby-skin interiors isn’t the way to go. Unless, of course, they’re interested in hiring Freddy Krueger to be their next celebrity spokesperson.




5 Responses

  1. Luke says:

    At least it isn’t the real thing like the previous post on human leather! It makes sense, but I wouldn’t go around bragging about using synthetic baby skin.

  2. RETIRED… JUST A LITTLE KJV SERMON FOR HALLOWEEN OR FOR HAVEST TIME I LIKE TO CALL IT. YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PLANT TO REAP GOOD HARVEST.
    Be At The House Of The lord Instad Of On The St. With The Devil

    HEBREWS 10, 23, 24 & 25

    23 LET US US HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITHWITHOUT WAVERING; [ FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED;]
    24 AND LET US CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER TO PROVOKE UNTO LOVE AND TO GOOD WORKS;
    25 NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER , AS THE MANNER OF SOME IS; BUT EXORTING ONE ANOTHER ; AND SO MUCH THE MORE ; AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING .

  3. Geoff says:

    This could be a horrible misstatement by Nissan. I think they mean to suggest that they researched the texture that most people thought was the most comfortable, and that once produced, that texture was similar to baby skin. Not so much that replicating baby skin was the goal, merely the outcome.

    BUT, if so, they really need a better PR firm!

    • Nadeem says:

      It most probably is an issue of what they meant to say vs. what they actually said.

      Branding this new fabric as the softest faux leather is the way to go. But likening it to infant skin gives people the awful impression that Nissan is farming baby hides.

      It’s amazing how much of a difference simple word choice can make.


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