Consumers Hopeful Despite Challenges, Increasingly Driven To Make The World A Better Place, Ford Trend Report Shows

  • Despite recent challenges, including the refugee crisis, terrorism and
    unexpected downfalls of once-beloved icons, consumers are exhibiting a
    heightened sense of determination to make the world a better place in
    2016 and beyond
  • Consumers are moving past frustration and resignation – shifting to
    hope and optimism – because of a renewed sense of inspiration and
    ingenuity, thanks largely to social media
  • New research reveals a growing determination among consumers to become
    more collaborative, and to leverage technology and sustainability to
    achieve freedom of travel, and the option to decide where they live,
    work and play

DEARBORN, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a world of constant and dramatic change, new insights from Ford’s
Looking Further with Ford 2016 trend report reveal a renewed sense of
inspiration and ingenuity among consumers striving for a better quality
of life in the New Year – motivated more than ever to make the world a
better place.

Despite an underlying sense of disillusionment, consumers are more
inspired to defy the odds and use innovation to embrace new platforms
for change. Through the trends Ford has identified for 2016, the company
is exploring how technology, sustainability and collaboration are being
leveraged so that it can help create solutions to improve how consumers
live, work, and even travel in the future.

“In our four years of researching and compiling consumer trends, never
have we seen optimism, resilience and self-reliance figure so
prominently,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global trend and futuring
manager. “It gives us hope for what the future holds, and we see that
same creativity and enterprising spirit driving innovation in every part
of our business at Ford.”

Key consumer findings

Changing views on health, consumption, transportation and work models
are upending traditional ways of thinking, with innovation and
technology rapidly ascending to transform culture and consumer behavior.
Among the findings:

  • Globally, more than half of Millennials agree that standing out is
    more important than fitting in – revealing an increased focus on
    self-reliance and purposefulness
  • Consumers are eager to spread good news and are more likely to share
    positive stories on social media
  • Members of an expanding aging population are proactively seeking to
    prolong their quality of life and personal freedoms
  • While innovation is driving new ways to enhance quality of life,
    demands for connectivity and time are increasing, resulting in a
    society that is always on-call
  • Efficiency and utility are the hallmarks for how we are now living and
    consuming. With Americans spending nearly five hours per day on their
    mobile phone, consumers are looking for ways to be less mind-full and
    more mindful, living smarter and pushing to get greater use out of
    fewer things

What’s trending for 2016

Ford’s report is a blueprint for understanding how these 10 trends are
expected to influence consumers and brands for 2016 and beyond:

1. Embracing Heroes: Where goodwill is faltering among established
leadership, it’s gaining with communities and individuals who are
rethinking what it means to be a good citizen, neighbor and person.
Everyday heroes are stepping up to the plate, and they’re inspiring
others to do the same.

2. Swiss Army Life: A rising emphasis on self-reliance has created an
ethos of purposefulness and utility. Better living today is not about
having more things – it’s about living smarter by pushing to get greater
use out of fewer things.

3. Time Poverty: “So much to do, so little time” has always been one of
life’s conundrums. Yet with greater connectivity, we’re increasingly
on-call, and time proves more elusive than ever.

4. EZ Life, Brought to You by the Connected Concierge: With growing
support from artificial intelligence, the rise of full-service
technology allows for outsourcing more responsibilities to innovative
consumer features that learn and adapt to our needs – expanding our
sense of hope and possibilities for better living.

5. Mindful Goes Mainstream: Two-thirds of consumers across the globe say
mindfulness is not a fad. As our lives become increasingly complicated
and demanding, the way forward many people are embracing is to be less
mind-full and more mindful – giving ourselves time and space to breathe,
reflect and regroup.

6. In Awe of Aging: As people live longer, healthier lives, the notion
of aging is being redefined. Shifts in health care, nutrition and
medical science are driving today’s seniors to reject long-held
stereotypes of what it means to be elderly.

7. Fit for Misfits: Today, one size fits nobody, and connections between
mainstream brands and consumers are taking a back seat to unique, more
personalized and meaningful ties.

8. Waste Not, Want Not: In a high-consumption society, innovators are
getting creative with extracting value from stuff nobody wants. This
sustainability trend promises to push the boundaries of people’s
imagination and resourcefulness.

9. Buying into the Flexible Economy: Once exclusively the turf of
creatives, freelancing is becoming increasingly normalized – and it’s
upending how we produce and consume goods and services.

10. Retail Revolution: Retail is no longer simply about product, it’s
about experience; retailers are finding new ways to forge meaningful
connections with consumers.

Insights driving Ford

The trends highlighted in this fourth annual report go beyond the auto
industry to help Ford comprehend what’s happening globally in social,
technological, economic, environmental and political arenas. These
insights drive every aspect of the company’s business – overall
strategy, development of future products and services, and the customer
purchase and ownership experience – helping Ford create innovative
mobility solutions that address consumers’ rapidly changing needs.

The trends point to a heightened focus on mobility as a means to help
develop new ways to address the complexities of urban transportation,
global gridlock and increased connectivity among consumers. Nearly 75
percent of adults worldwide say greater mobility is important for global
stability. Ford echoes this view, and is dedicated to using technology,
sustainability and collaborative approaches to make the world a better

“There’s no escaping the impact the rapid pace of technology has on
culture,” said Connelly. “What’s fascinating to watch is how companies
like Ford adapt and innovate at this pace. These insights help us to
create products and services that not only exceed today’s expectations,
they provide innovative ways of looking at how to tackle challenging
situations of tomorrow.”

Through consumer-centric innovation, Ford is playing a pivotal role in
championing mobility by creating smart vehicle networks and embracing
changing models of ownership and consumption that favor greater access
for all. Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to take connectivity,
mobility, autonomous vehicle technology, the customer experience, and
data and analytics to the next level. Its efforts will ultimately
deliver safer, more convenient and efficient methods of addressing
global transportation challenges.

For more on the Looking Further with Ford 2016 trend report, please

About Ford Motor Company

Motor Company
, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 197,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the
company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company
provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more
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Ford Communications
Anika Salceda-Wycoco
Public Relations
Monica Finch