December 8, 2016
On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Ford released its annual report to the media that highlights three trends from the past and introduces seven more to look out for in the near future. While these trends are not specific to driving vehicles, they take a more broad focus on consumer behavior, which in turn can influence how the automaker designs, builds and markets its vehicles.
For years Ford has been documenting the mistrust that people associate with big corporations and governing bodies. Now more than ever this statement's validity has never been truer. Consumers value trust and to gain that trust, companies need to be more transparent and engaged with their consumers
Ford is pushing to keep sustainability a continuing trend for the new year. Between floods, droughts, and water contamination, there is a great concern for the world's natural resources. Ford boasts being the first automotive company to have a water strategy and also has been awarded an 'A' rating from the CDP.
Ford acknowledges that big isn't always better. Research shows that consumers are finding joy in less. That's why Ford is continuing to create autonomy cars for its consumers. Hours upon hours are lost on the road due to traffic jams and daily commute. Ford recently began a pilot program in San Francisco that will give them an overall idea of how mass transit works and how they as an auto company can improve the quality of life for people living in densely populated urban areas with different modes of transportation.
Punctuality is becoming a thing of the past, while procrastination rises to the forefront. Ford recognizes that there are beneficial ways to spend time which is much better than wasting it. In response, the automaker introduced Ford Smart Mobility. For the first time ever, Ford is going to be more than just an auto company but also has plans to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles the customer experience and data and analytics.
The Internet gives consumers a variety of choices, especially when it comes to transportation. With so many choices and options, it can be difficult to make a choice and often times can be so overwhelming that it drives the consumer away from a purchase. Ford has dedicated itself to becoming more of a transportation consultant. Plans of opening experience centers in urban areas called FordHubs are on the horizon.
With technology improving every day, Ford recognizes that it may not just be improving our lives but eroding it. Technology seems to make our lives easier, but its downside is showing from lower attention spans and retention capacities to allowing computers to think for you in every aspect of life. Ford recognizes that technology isn't always making things better and has dedicated itself to only pushing innovation that has a purpose.
From the beginning of the company's start with the Henry Ford, it has followed the “notion that businesses exist exclusively for the purpose of making people's lives better." Ford continues to follow that mission to do whatever is best for its customers.
New age parenting has allowed parents to be more open about their struggles. Parents often look to others for empathy and advice. Ford asked parents how they perceived the role of technology when it comes to their children. The results differed from location, with 81% of parents in China agreeing that technology was positive and 46% of parents in the US viewing it as a positive thing.