Taking place from Friday, February 18 though Sunday, February 26, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian International Auto Show is a must-attend event for any car lover. We had the pleasure of attending for the first time ever this year courtesy of our friends at Ford Canada and we even got to attend a private luncheon with Ford‘s in-house Futurist, Sheryl Connelly visiting all the way from the automaker’s headquarters in Michigan. Now we must clarify, a Futurist doesn’t predict the future but more is an expert on the analysis of social behaviours globally, to understand what ultimately shapes and crafts trends and this trickles down things we buy, including what we look for in buying a car.
We learned tons of interesting statistics and tidbits about global patterns and behaviours over our delicious lunch at Taverna Mercatto, just minutes from the bustle at the Convention Centre.
According to 80% of globally-surveyed adults feel today’s media outlets are more opinion than objective news coverage. We are living in an age where people are trusting less traditional media as a source of information, hence people are turning more to Bloggers and Influencers for information.
“I’m not a car expert by any means”, Connelly tells a room of Influencers whom have become ambassadors whom in recent years have become local ambassadors for the beloved brand. “I’m into very much many of the same things you are into”. Perusing the room, I felt a sense of relief among some familiar faces – my worries alleviated of being I’d be stuck in a presentation where lots of technical automotive jargon would be thrown my way.
Did you know the average American spends 4.7 hours a day on their mobile device? 77% of adults globally surveyed agree this is resulting in higher obesity levels. Studies also show that 47% of people agree that technology is making us dumber. While 63% of people feel that we are becoming less polite due to technology. Need proof? Read the comments section on YouTube or ask that friend who was “dumped” over text message or e-mail. Ford has a mission not to overwhelm us with technology, but instead be purposeful in a way that allows us to incorporate and integrate it intuitively into their products, enabling us to enjoy that “good life”.
Times also are changing. Survey results show that people over the age of 30 tend to associate social status with the car they drive. Millennials we learned, place more value and associate status with the technology they own. Perhaps we are approaching more than ever before an era where not every body wants or needs to own a car. Also we are seeing a shift from what we know as Materialism. 69% of women and 60% of men surveyed feel that wealth is an outdated measure of success. In response to the statement “I care less about material possessions than I did in the past”, 62% (18-29), 67% (30-44) and 73% (45+) responded a definitive “yes”. Ford continually is trying to explore the balance between need and desire and our many diverse needs. A car is just a ride to some of us, while it is status and something more meaningful to others.
“Decider’s Dilemma” also is a growing phenomenon among consumers today. That is, we are responding to over-buying and the overwhelming abundance of options in the marketplace by wanting to try before we buy, a “Sampling Society” if you will. Above this, surveyed results show that 98% of kids who took a “gap year” agree that experience helped them develop as a person, hinting that procrastination in some ways helps people be more productive. Technology like Ford’s Smart Mobility and FordPass among other mobility solutions, help each traveler plan their own journey and also stay more connected with their own lives.
86% of adults surveyed around the world also agree that we should be paying closer attention to the production ethics of the products we buy. Ford’s mission is to make products mindful of our growing concern for sustainability and the world economically, socially and environmentally. In recent years, we are seeing more and more the surfacing of Ecoboost technology and smaller Eco-sport cars which serve the base need for utility. Ford also has placed focus on a water strategy, receiving an “A” rating from the CDP, the world’s only global environment disclosure agency.
See some of the gorgeous new 2017 offerings from the Ford roster in our Snapchat story and Instagram: