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Ford Seeks to Understand Drivers of Change; Its 2019 Trends Report Explores How Shifting Behaviors Are Changing the World

  • To commemorate its seventh annual Looking Further with Ford Trends Report, the company has set out to understand how drivers of behavioral change play out in key areas of our lives
  • Report explores the influence of technology on these shifts, and how consumers manage the tensions between technology as a force of good and technology as a source of anxiety in their lives
  • Consumers are divided about technology’s impact; while it’s considered the biggest driver of change today, with 87 percent of adults globally in agreement, many believe it’s an area where they need to exercise greater device detachment to achieve balance and well-being

NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2018 – Change is rarely easy. But while one third of adults globally say it scares them, 86 percent say they believe hope drives change. Today, Ford releases its 2019 Trends Report, which looks deep into the drivers of behavioral change to uncover the dynamic relationships consumers have with a shifting landscape of technology.

“We set out to find the seeds of positive change – the ways in which we are pushing, and being pushed, to do better and be better,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trends and futuring manager. “Even if change makes us feel uncomfortable, we can always look inward and control our own actions. When we focus on actionable behaviors, we can do wonderful things.”

Ford is focused on human-centric design, and is committed to harnessing technology and finding mobility solutions that address human need, improve the lives of consumers and enrich communities. Each year, these insights are used to shape the company’s priorities for the future and inform how it thinks today about the needs of tomorrow.

Key insights from Ford’s seventh annual Trends Report include:

  • Almost half of adults globally believe that fear drives change; seven in 10 say they are energized by change
  • 87 percent agree that technology is the biggest driver of change today; almost eight in 10 adults globally believe technology is a force for good
  • 67 percent of adults globally would rather have their children ride in a self-driving vehicle than ride with a stranger
  • 45 percent of adults globally report they envy people who can disconnect from their devices; seven out of 10 consumers agree we should have a mandatory timeout from our devices
  • 84 percent of adults globally say they have taken small steps over the past year to improve their lives; of those, 92 percent say they are still following through with those steps, while 83 percent agree change is less intimidating when they break it into small steps
  • 84 percent of adults globally agree that companies should offer mental health days as part of their benefits; the same percentage agree that diverse opinions lead to positive change
  • The majority of adults globally say when they make a purchase, they often consider its environmental costs
  • 67 percent of adults globally agree that technology is making commuting easier

What this means for 2019 and beyond
This report serves as a blueprint for understanding how key patterns of consumer behavior around the globe are expected to influence consumers and corporations in 2019 and beyond. Ford has investigated and studied these seven trends:

1.     The Tech Divide: Technology has a profound impact on how we connect with and see the world – more than ever before. Yet, there’s underlying tension between those who have access and believe it’s a force for good and those who don’t have access.

  • Ford has made harnessing technology a priority to help people move smarter, more safely and more conveniently throughout the world. The aim is to become the world’s most trusted brand by making innovations easy to use, reliable and enjoyable rather than overwhelming. In some cities, the company leverages the work of its City Solutions team to help residents move more freely.

2.     Digital Detox: Despite being tethered to their devices, trends show many people are increasingly aware of and alarmed by their device dependency and are seeking out ways to hold themselves accountable for the time they spend online.

  • Ford has studied the effects of high-performance race car driving on the brain. The company is applying data it has uncovered to understand such “buzz moments” – the thrills that play a vital role in overall wellness – to learn how to improve a driver’s experience and mindset behind the wheel.

3.     Reclaiming Control: In a world in which control feels so out of grasp for many, consumers for whom self-improvement is paramount are looking for ways to reclaim agency over their lives.

  • As part of Ford’s human-centered design process, the company is employing empathy research to better understand people's needs and habits. Ford uses this research in an effort to keep the customer at the heart of its business, from the development of new vehicle designs to new technologies such as Ford Co-Pilot360™, which can help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel.

4.     Many Faces of Me: With social media playing such a large part in the lives of consumers, many tend to take on various personas – who they are in real life versus how they depict themselves online – which ultimately impacts what they buy, wear and drive, as well as their technology choices.

  • Ford understands that a vehicle is a reflection of a driver’s sense of self, so it works to design vehicles that speak to individual needs, while also helping consumers both reinforce and project who they actually are as individuals. Ford Mustang, the best-selling two-door sports car in the world that delivers both performance and personality, allows drivers great options for customization.

5.     Life’s Work: How we perceive work has changed, with many consumers globally now working to live, not living to work. Companies are responding in kind, offering benefits, sabbaticals and extended leaves, as well as opportunities for mental enrichment and more.

  • Ford believes that talent is strengthened when people are encouraged to experience the world around them and give back to their communities. Its Thirty Under 30 program allows young employees to take paid time away from their jobs to learn about philanthropic organizations and strategize ways to connect with future donors and volunteers, helping them to make an impact on their communities.

6.     Eco-Momentum: While changing lifelong habits can be hard, consumers overwhelmingly agree that environmental progress depends on changes in human behavior; many look for guidance on how and where to improve their environmental footprint.

  • Sustainable practices are critical to the health of the environment and to Ford’s business. The company is constantly seeking out cutting-edge practices on the use of sustainable and repurposed materials. It is continually exploring ways to push the boundaries of sustainability – with plans to roll out 16 fully electric vehicles by the end of 2022, including a Mustang-inspired one.

7.     Easy Street: The mobility journey isn’t as simple as going from point A to B, it’s about what we do with our time along the way. Americans spend more time in their cars than they receive in vacation time, so the ability to get things done while on the road could change the commute experience as we know it.

  • Ford believes that self-driving vehicles will reduce society’s pain points and expand access to transportation and goods delivery. Ford is working with other companies to understand how goods delivery through the use of self-driving vehicles can be improved. A pilot program Ford is conducting with Walmart and Postmates is exploring how self-driving vehicles can complement Walmart’s home delivery offerings.

As new technology seeps into more areas of our lives and impacts our behaviors, Ford engineers and designers believe our transportation choices should make everyday life easier, not more cluttered. The company’s human-centered design approach and intuitive technology package offerings work to empower humans to make smart decisions for themselves – with the goal of unleashing a world of wonder, hope and progress.

For the full Looking Further with Ford Trends Report for 2019, please visit

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

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