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I am not sure that someone already discussed about this. This news was almost one month ago and caught my ears... What do you think?



Mercedes sets no-leather option
By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — Mercedes-Benz is offering to shed the skins when it comes to leather seats on its ritziest models in the name of animal rights, but other car companies aren't ready to follow.

Cars like this Mercedes Benz SLK350 could come with synthetic interiors.
AP

Mercedes has decided to make its full line of vehicles available with synthetic interiors if a customer requests it, under pressure from the advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Until now, its most-expensive vehicles have come with leather as the only alternative.

Other carmakers say they have no plans to make a change for a simple reason: Skin is in. Giving up leather would chap the hides of most car buyers.

"Overwhelmingly, people want leather seats," Toyota spokesman Mike Michels says. "Customer demand drives everything we do."

PETA launched a campaign about five years ago to persuade car companies to provide more non-leather interior options. The group says a single car can require four to 15 cowhides.

Mercedes quickly became a target as "a leader in luxury-car manufacturing," says Poorva Joshipura, a PETA director who spearheads the campaign.

"We felt if we could get them to acknowledge consumers who are leather-free, then other carmakers will soon follow suit."

The company's C- and E-class sedans and M-class sport-utility vehicles have always been offered with a non-leather option, says Mercedes spokeswoman Donna Boland. But consumers only wanted leather on the highest-end models, such as the S-class sedans, SL roadster and CL coupe, she says.

Although leather will remain standard on those models, "If there are consumers out there who want non-leather, we'll make it available."

All leather used in Mercedes cars is a byproduct of beef production, Boland says.

Among other luxury-car makers:

• Jaguar offers standard leather seats on all its cars and hasn't been approached to make a change, spokesman James Thomas says.

• Infiniti's whole line comes with standard leather with no cloth option available. The only exception is the FX35 crossover vehicle, which comes with a standard cloth interior, spokeswoman Megan Liefer says. No change is being contemplated.

• Cadillac offers a leatherlike synthetic on its CTS, but leather seats are standard on the rest of the line.

"People want leather," spokeswoman Nekeidra Shegog says.

• Lexus has leather standard in all its cars except the RX 330 SUV and the IS 300 sports sedan. The Toyota Land Cruiser also comes with a leather interior.

PETA recently tried to give Toyota an award for not including leather seats as an option in its Prius hybrid. But Michels says the carmaker "respectfully declined" to accept.

The company leaves open the possibility of offering the car with leather seats.

Michels adds, however, "We respect people's conviction on this issue."
 

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The so-called automobile enthusiasts here will wail against this, but here goes . . .

Leather is probably the worst material for car seats. It's hot in the summer, cold in the winter and are probably the only reason why electrically heated seats are sold. Leather doesn't grip your bottom when cornering (think about how may race cars you see with leather in the bucket shells . . ) and it tends to crack, scratch and requires as much maintenace as the paint on the car.

Of course this logic does not apply to the so-called "drivers" that associate a hide covered interior with the grand old days of luxury motoring.
 

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The only advantage leather has is that if properly cared for, it will look good for years. Cloth can fade and become patchy. Ironically newer leather applications in MB and other cars is designed to be more cloth like, if you will, to not be so hot or cold. The leather in my 91 300 SE is 100 percent different and better than the leather in my 85 500 SEL.
 

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MTI - 3/3/2005 8:38 PM

The so-called automobile enthusiasts here will wail against this, but here goes . . .

Leather is probably the worst material for car seats. It's hot in the summer, cold in the winter and are probably the only reason why electrically heated seats are sold. Leather doesn't grip your bottom when cornering (think about how may race cars you see with leather in the bucket shells . . ) and it tends to crack, scratch and requires as much maintenace as the paint on the car.

Of course this logic does not apply to the so-called "drivers" that associate a hide covered interior with the grand old days of luxury motoring.
Agreed! Leather is over rated. I Bought an Acura Vigor with cloth and then an Acura Legend right behind it with leather. The performance of the cloth interior kicked the leather's butt all day long. Today, the '93 Vigor sits with 338,000 miles and going, and the interior looks like new. The leather on the Legend was shot when I got it, my breif case would go rocketing across hte back seat, and it's probably rotting away in a boneyard as we speak. Good riddance. Last week, i bought the Vigor BACk from my brother.[^]
 

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Leather all the way. It is more durable. I sat in my leather seats in my SL500 and SLK 320 in hot days and cold days. Do not notice any difference.

I have tore so many cloth seats.
 

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leather for sure. the look of the inside of the car with leather vs. cloth sells me on leather alone.
 

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deathrattle - 3/4/2005 8:07 AM
Finally,have you ever slapped an ageing cloth seat across a shaft of sunlight? That inevitable cloud of dust is mostly dried skin cells that have rubbed off
various folk's arses over the years-very unsavoury[xx(]
Are you saying you object to nude passengers in your car? [:D]

BTW, the dust you see is just that, dust, since the same puffs from the carpet aren't foot skin cells. [;)]
 

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deathrattle - 3/4/2005 4:19 PM
And i've got news for you.The grey household dust from beds,carpets,cushions or even which collects in the back of your TV, is 80% dried,shed skin cells from all over your body,not just your butt or your feet.
LOL, that's about as newsworthy as finding out that most hotel rooms have semen and urine stains all over the place. Now when you find that article about butt skin cell on cloth interiors, give me a shout. [:D]
 

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MTI - 3/4/2005 6:22 PM

deathrattle - 3/4/2005 4:19 PM
And i've got news for you.The grey household dust from beds,carpets,cushions or even which collects in the back of your TV, is 80% dried,shed skin cells from all over your body,not just your butt or your feet.
LOL, that's about as newsworthy as finding out that most hotel rooms have semen and urine stains all over the place. Now when you find that article about butt skin cell on cloth interiors, give me a shout. [:D]
HA! That's exactly what I was thinking. If we would be drowning in dead skin cells and its THAT prevalent, then it's there whether it's leather or not. Ha! We are talking about something on the cellular level, so it's IN the leather too! Besides, what's leather but a worked piece of dead skin? Now, besides all this silly (though informative!) cell talk, don't get me wrong, I DO like my leather! But I STILL stand by the statement that "leather is OVER rated." With today's technologies and fabrics, who knows WHAT kind of awesome materials the could put in a car today that would perform miraculously? However, no auto companies even try it because we are PROGRAMMED to leather or cloth. There are exceptions of course; my 190E is one. That was one from the MB "pleather" option years, and it looks feels and perfroms great. The difference doesnt jump out at me when i get into my S-Class. And I really need to look at what they used in the Honda Element. My brother bought one for his wife, and you really can just open it up and spray the entire interior out with a WATER HOSE and a muddy day of camping out in the woods. Yeah, I'm gonna ask for that in leather. There should be more options is all I'm saying.
 

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I think it's a good thing for MB to offer a synthetic choice for those who wish the option. It may help their sales slightly.

Usually, I've preferred cloth over leather due to the hot/cold aspects mentioned in the above posts. Leather was chosen for my coupe mainly because I thought the cloth was ugly. Just MHO, no flames please. It's my belief MB did this as a deliberate move to encourage the buying of the leather option.

I've found that using a sunshade and keeping the windows open a crack (with weatherflectors installed) avoids the heat issue, even when parked in direct sunlight. I must confess, however, that I've gotten addicted to those heated seats in the wintertime. [:D]
 

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one cannot substitute anything for the superior napa seats in my v12. there isn't aany other substance known to man that is worthy of the honor. and i'm going out to the grill right now and do an iron chef number on some rib eyes. [8D]
 
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