Because the Chinese think plastic and leather smell like garbage.
Lincoln didn’t reveal the car we were hoping for at Detroit, but the MKX crossover is nice enough. What we really wanted was a large, rear-wheel-drive sedan concept. A reborn Continental, if you will. Oh well. There’s always New York in April. Anyhow, Lincoln has major plans for the MKX in the US, the Middle East, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and China. For the most part, no packaging changes are planned. But there’s so far at least once exception: the interior smell. The Chinese specifically don’t like that new car smell.
Because Lincoln is particularly anxious to attract this market, it has actually commissioned an extensive research project to uncover which specific smells the Chinese don’t like and which ones they do. The new car small itself comes from plastics, leather and other things, but Lincoln wants its Chinese-spec MKX to smell different somehow.