Ford 2018 trends report underscores how consumers, companies cope in uncertain times

Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trends and futuring manager.
Updated 11 December 2017
0

Ford 2018 trends report underscores how consumers, companies cope in uncertain times

People worldwide feel increasingly polarized by cultural and societal changes. More than 60 percent of adults globally say they feel overwhelmed by unrest in the world.
The “2018 Looking Further with Ford Trends Report” examines not only the issues dividing the world, but also the coping mechanisms born as a result of compassion and guilt to heightened activism. According to the sixth annual study, 76 percent of adults globally say they believe their actions can influence positive change.
“There’s no doubt we’re living in interesting times,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trends and futuring manager. “Shifting global priorities, rampant political upheaval, and a spotlight on social inequity have upended the status quo and left many feeling disoriented. But out of the chaos and conflict, a new energy and creativity is motivating people like never before.”

Key highlights from the report
l 68 percent of adults are overwhelmed by suffering in the world today, and 51 percent feel guilty for not doing more to make the world better.
l 81 percent of adults say they are concerned about the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
52 percent of 18- to 29-year-old adults say they expect brands to take a stand on political issues.
73 percent of adults say they should take better care of their emotional well-being, and 57 percent say they get less sleep each night than they should.
Top trends for 2018 as listed by Ford include:
1. The Edge of Reason: Global upheaval is evident in everything from politics to pop culture; and, people are responding to these changes in polarized fashion. As divisiveness grows, open dialogue diminishes and the sense of being overwhelmed intensifies. Consumers are hungry for inventive ways to cope and adapt.
2. The Activist Awakening: Thanks to the culture of polarization, consumers are being jolted out of complacency. Conventional wisdom and expectations are being toppled as individuals debate the change we need.
3. Minding the Gap: Worldwide, the spotlight is on inequality. Activists and entrepreneurs are experimenting with new ways to improve access to quality education, increase productive employment, close wage gaps, and provide everyone with affordable access to basic living standards and infrastructure.


Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Updated 11 December 2018
0

Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) has wrapped up a successful 2018 having added programs in two new markets — Morocco and Madagascar — as well as having launched a women-only program in Saudi Arabia. The training program reached more than 1,600 inexperienced motorists in 10 cities around the Middle East and Africa.

Providing free training and instilling safe driving practices, the DSFL program offered an opportunity to gain experience in the four main primary driving skills: Hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management.

This year, Ford DSFL was run in the UAE (Dubai), Kenya (Nairobi), Uganda (Gulu Town), and four cities in South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, and Pretoria), while Casablanca welcomed Morocco’s first-ever DSFL for three days of training in October. 

Antananarivo in Madagascar also joined the DSFL family when it played host to 50 members of the media, and a train-the-trainer for distributor staff, in September, becoming the eighth market in sub-Saharan Africa alone to benefit from the introduction of Ford’s program.

In addition, on its return to Jeddah, Ford hosted the global debut of its DSFL for Her, a new customized version of Ford’s award-winning safe-driving initiative, helping to build confidence behind the wheel as participants in the Kingdom prepared to be among the first-ever women to be issued a driving license in the country.

The DSFL for Her course followed the landmark decision last year, as decreed by King Salman to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.

“Safety continues to be a key priority for Ford, and providing campaigns such as DSFL can only help reduce the number of road accidents, and increase young drivers’ knowledge and confidence on the road,” said Jim Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. 

“Ford also made history in 2018 when it hosted the first-ever practical hands-on driving training for women in Saudi Arabia — DSFL for Her — specifically designed to accommodate Saudi females embarking on their first journey behind the wheel of a car. These are the kinds of occasions that make Ford exceptionally proud of the success DSFL has enjoyed this year, as the program continues its rapid expansion, and evolves to adapt to the needs of the markets in which it operates,” Graham added.

Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed drivers necessary skills beyond standard driver education programs. In 2008, the program expanded to Asia Pacific, and in 2013, Ford DSFL branched out into both Europe and the Middle East.

In 2017, the free program celebrated reaching the one-millionth newly licensed driver trained.