Ford shows off a greener vehicle in Scottsdale

August 16, 2012

You may not realize it but that car seat you're riding on this morning may partially made from a soybean derivative. And if you're driving a newer-model Ford, it's almost a sure thing. The automaker held an event in Scottsdale last night to highlight the renewable aspects of its 2013 Fusion. Ford technical specialist Ellen Lee said the seat cushions, seat backs and head rests all are made from a soy-based foam. And the seat fabric may be recyclable, too.

"That's made from in large part water bottles. There's almost 40 water bottles per vehicle, and we also use a lot of scrap fill from cotton and denim manufacturers to go in the sound-deadening materials. There's about two jeans' worth of denim in that," Lee said.

In fact, Lee sees the day of a fully recyclable vehicle. But will the effort to go green translate to car sales? Auto analyst Paul Eisenstein, publisher of, says that's hard to say.

"Just because you have, say, lower emissions does not necessarily mean that you're going to generate more business if you aren't basically offering the same price or lower prices than your competitors," Eisenstein said.

Eisenstein, who says that in the digital age putting on an image of green is not enough, thinks Ford is doing a good job of backing up its recyclable claims. But he says consumers sometimes fail to back up their demands for recyclable products in the showroom.