In the past few years, we've all heard about the price of cars and trucks being impacted by the price of steel. We've also heard about the reduction in the numbers of trucks sold due to the downturn of the housing market. According to this article (sub. req'd), there is a new raw material affecting the price of vehicles: sawdust. It seems that the slow housing market means that fewer scraps of wood are being reduced down to dust, which is used in the manufacture of certain interior components, like steering wheels. Apparently, there are a few substitutes to sawdust in the farming industry, like cow manure. This fact raises an interesting question: would you rather pay more for your car or have the steering wheel made with cow manure? Or, how would the use of cow manure in the making of your next car affect that "new car smell" that we all know and love?

[Source: The Wall Street Journal via All Cars All The Time]