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Audi Has A “Nose Team” Whose Job Is To Smell Cars

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Audi Has A "Nose Team" Whose Job Is To Smell Cars

As odd as it may sound, Audi takes this team very seriously. The nose team are a set of professional scientists who smell car interiors all day to make sure they are free from foul odours. The funny stuff is that this has been going on for 35 years now. Now that’s some job to do which surely is lucrative.

Established in 1985, Audi’s odour team aka nose team has been working diligently to make their cars small nice. Inasmuch as it’s impossible for Audi’s interior to be odourless, the manufacturer tries as much as possible to make materials and chemicals used during manufacturing to be as neutral as possible to create that fresh new car smell.

Around 500 different components are analyzed by the nose team. Fish odours in leather to floor mats smelling like onions are unacceptable. Audi chemist Heiko Lussmann-Geiger leads a five-person nose team at Audi’s Bavarian Quality Center since the early 2000s.





A car’s interior smell may be rival but Heiko thinks otherwise. He says a vehicle’s comfort should be seen as a pyramid. He said that at the tip of this hierarchy pyramid is the well-being of the customer, right at the base is the smell. If a customer is not happy with the odour from below, it will change their perception about the product.

Each smell is graded on a scale from one (“odourless”) to six (“unbearable”). Only materials such as glass, ceramics, and metals are rated odourless since they are classed as core components, but other materials need to be rated below four (“irritating”) to pass Audi’s strict smell test. Audi even tests production cars to make sure they still smell factory fresh after they leave the showroom.

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