Dearborn, Michigan - Ford Motor Co. and Lear Corp. have joined forces to produce seat foam made from soya-based materials, which will be used for the first time in the 2008 Ford Mustang. Production of Mustang seat backs and seat cushions using soya-based foam will start at the beginning of August at the Auto Alliance International factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, home of the Ford Mustang, said a 12 July news release from Ford. "Our technical team had to overcome several significant hurdles to bring this environmentally responsible technology to production," said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president of Research & Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor Co., in the company statement. In 2004, Ford and Lear formed a partnership to commercialise soya foam applications, initially concentrating on moulding components for headrest and armrests."Using renewable resources is an important means to supplying automotive products that improve environmental impact," said Ray Scott, senior vice president and president of Lear's Seating Systems Division, in the statement. "This also helps in reducing the amount of pollution in the production of materials for automotive use," he added. Scott said that Ford and Lear are bringing this product to market "ahead of our competitors, due largely to our collaborative work with in the area of ' Green' technology."Also involved with the work were the United Soybean Board - New Uses Committee (a group of 64 farmers and agriculture industry leaders), Urethane Soy Systems Co., Bayer Corp. and Renosol Corp. Ford's history of using soya based materials goes back to the Model T, which once contained 60 lb of soya beans in its paint and moulded plastic parts. The company's Model U concept in 2003 also featured soya-based seat cushions as well as a tailgate made from a soya-based resin-composite. "