In America, Chinese automakers tend to have a reputation for building poor-quality products. But the cars produced in China have been improving in quality pretty steadily over the years, and while I can’t really speak to how they compare overall, I can say that I was very impressed with at least one aspect of Chinese cars I saw at the Detroit Auto Show: the floor mats.
Specifically, the floor mats from Chinese automaker GAC. While at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month, I took the time to really look at the floor mat offerings of modern cars, and found nearly all cars to be sorely lacking, with the lone standout exception of GAC.
Yes, we are finally covering floor mat developments and technology with the vigor and effort you expect, so for all of you who have been sending me emails like this:
... please rest assured that I have heard your message, loud and clear, and will provide you with much-needed floor mat content.
GAC’s floor mat game is absolutely on point, and it embarrasses every other automaker I saw at the show. These were not the usual fuzzy-top-on-spiky-rubber-backing floor mats we’ve been seeing in cars since the 1970s, these were carefully crafted, quilted full-floor units that felt substantial and looked stylish.
I mean, yeah, sure, you can find these same mats for sale online, but GAC is sticking them in cars from the factory. They give a damn, floor mat-wise.
I saw several types, as you can see in the video, and all of them were impressive. They covered normally neglected areas like transmission tunnels and the sides of footwells, they looked to be hard-wearing, and the methods used to secure them to the floors (velcro, snaps, etc.) seemed to be effective and well-engineered.
GAC’s domination of the floor mat space should be a warning to other automakers: don’t underestimate what China’s carmakers are capable of.
Well, at least for floor mats.