(CBS News) The 2013 Ford Fusion is a mixture of the old and the new. Ford's new sedan is made from mostly standard parts: metal, rubber, plastics. But it also has some unusual materials. Like blue jeans. And over 30,000 soy beans.
It's the latest step in the automaker's on-going commitment for sustainability. Most car manufacturers are trying to get "greener" with every passing year. Ford has upped the ante with the Fusion by putting an emphasis on sustainable materials like denim. The equivalent to two pairs of blue jeans is stitched into every Fusion model.
"Building vehicles with great fuel economy is our highest priority in reducing impact on the environment," says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager, in a press release. "With every new product design, we also are charged with increasing the use of renewable and recyclable materials in our cars, utilities and trucks to reduce impact on the environment."
Denim is used as a sound-absorbing material. The soy beans are turned into foam for seat cushions, seat backs, and head restraints. The seats themselves are stitched together from melted down water bottles. Ford estimates that the equivalent to nearly 40 water bottles are used in every car.
Additional materials include battery casings that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. The use of recycled materials adds up to nearly 2 million pounds of repurposed plastic every year.
The company also estimates that the use of soy has reduced petroleum production by more than 5 million pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 million pounds annually.
"These are steps our customers can appreciate, they are cost-effective and they are better - in the long run - for our planet," Majske says.