Did you know that there’s someone in the auto industry who’s in charge of making your brand new car smell nice and brand new? This is just one of the many hidden roles that go into making your new ride feel great. When you were a kid, you may never have dreamed of being that person who makes a chair fold back ‘just right’, but someone has to do it.
Here are just a few examples, from Spanish multinational car manufacturer SEAT.
Their nose is the most important work instrument to achieve the ultimate goal: the famous ‘new car smell’. This team of chemists performs more than 400 smell tests every year, exposing cars to temperatures of 60 degrees. This profession also places some curious demands on them: they cannot smoke or wear perfume so as not to alter the outcome of test results.
THE CLAY SCULPTOR
These sculptors handcraft clay into life-sized cars that even weigh the same as a real vehicle. This requires 2500 kilograms of clay and up to 10,000 hours of patient scraping to elaborate a single clay model, to fully display a car’s silhouette before locking in its design.
THE CAR TAILOR
They hand sew the vehicle upholstery patterns, coming up with the best combination of colours, fabrics and hides to suit the personality of each car. These expert tailors need more than 30 metres of seams to fully upholster an entire car, and their creations are crafted two years in advance.
THE SEAT TESTER
This profession consists of shaping the ideal seat. Testers and their teams also have to perform up to 20,000 folding operations for each different type of seat. The study is exhaustive: they have to find the right foams, fabrics, structure or stitching that will adapt to different body types and external conditions. They also ensure the correct design of headrests to prevent possible neck injuries.