The automotive industry has been taking huge strides in making its products more environmentally friendly: developing powertrains that operate on alternative energy sources and increasing the amount of recycled components (and materials) in its products.
Moreover, General Motors is taking the sustainability movement to the next step in developing the Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera, and Cadillac Converj electric vehicles. But sometimes it’s the little things that count: take, for example, the roof filler of the all-new Buick LaCrosse that is made of recycled cardboard.
To bring the recycled roof filler to market, GM partnered with global automotive supplier Federal Mogal. If you haven’t yet, check out the short video (above) that describes how the roof filling material came to be in the new LaCrosse.
Most importantly, though, is the need to change perceptions: many believe that recycled materials are in some way inferior to non-recycled content. Lora Herron, Buick Materials engineer, doesn’t think so. The recycled cardboard used to fill the roof of the LaCrosse has very impressive sound-dampening properties that work to make the cabin of the luxurious Buick even quieter on the road. As such, Buick has done something really outstanding here: it increased both – the quality and the recyclable material composition of the LaCrosse; the fact that the roof-filling material in the LaCrosse is recycled means less waste is going into landfills.
It goes without saying that we’re really excited GM is coming up with innovative ideas to make its vehicles more environmentally friendly, all while improving quality.
Of note: some readers who sent us this video have expressed concerns about the long-term durability of the roof filler. Apparently, certain GM models in the 1980’s and early 90’s were prone to sagging roofliners that (obviously) decreased customer satisfaction and resale values. We hope Buick has conducted proper durability testing on the recycled cardboard in the roof of the LaCrosse. We’ve put in an inquiry to The General but haven’t received an answer by the time of publication. As soon as we hear back from GM, we’ll update this post.