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86 posts categorized "Interviews by Ask Patty"

January 31, 2014

Ford Looks at the Female Frontier and Other Micro-Trends for 2014

“It takes three years to take a vehicle to market,” explained Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring at Ford. ”What most of us don't know is that one of the tools we use to bring it to market is micro-trends.”

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“What’s a micro-trend?” we asked. Connelly explained that they have a shorter life than big trends and serve as a more accurate way of determining how people think, act, feel and …spend.

For instance, did you know that worldwide, the average cell phone user checks their phone 150 times a day? 

How about this? 62% of adults globally agree that, when people react positively to things they share on social media, they feel better about themselves.

These are just a couple of the hundreds of insights that Ford researched to create the 2nd annual edition of 10 Trends for 2014.

You may ask: what does this have to do with cars?  Everything from the way they are designed marketed and priced to (more obviously) the technology.

To follow, five of Ford’s future micro-trends:
1. Female Frontier: On a global basis, women are changing the dialogue around gender roles. With increasing prominence in politics and the work force, women are even changing the rules of marriage and having children. 66% of men and women agree that the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. As Obama said in his recent State of the Union speech, “When women succeed, America succeeds.”

Insights:
Take a look around Ford’s corporate structure and you will find women ruling in areas including; technology, marketing, strategy, design and engineering. Ford understands how important it is to have women behind the building of new vehicles. After all, women are over 85% of the buying decisions for cars in the US.

2. Micro-moments: The ADD of wanting to do it all in less time. Media snacking is the word for packing in as much as we can in 24 hours. From two minutes in the grocery store checkout to five minutes between meetings, downtime is disappearing.

Insights:
Innovations like Kickstarter ( fundraising), Groupons (deals on everything) and Rent the Runway (leasing designer clothes for as little as $20), are changing the business model.
Just six years after launching Ford SYNC, the company has delivered more than 10 million vehicles equipped with the hands-free, voice-activated command system. Among other things, the SYNC system controls mobile phones, digital music players, reads your incoming text messages and can provide audio versions of favorite articles from a host of magazines and newspapers.

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3. Old School: Romanticizing how things used to be, we find comfort and connection in brands, craftsmanship, products and experiences that evoke nostalgia. People are looking back to find meaning. 82% of Americans agree that vintage products have more character than new products.

Insights:
The Ford Mustang hits 50 in 2014!  Since the pony’s reveal in 1964, over 9 million Mustangs have been sold. From the racetrack to movies, music and toys, this popular car has become a noted part of pop culture. The nostalgic Mustang has created such a passionate following that more than 600 Mustang enthusiast clubs exist globally. 

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4. Sustainability Blues: While going green may protect 30% of the earth’s surface, the other 70% is water. The world is starting to pay more attention to water. For example, Levi launched their Water

Insights:
For over a decade, Ford has been committed to decreasing its water footprint by applying water-saving initiatives globally. The company has reduced water usage in everything from cooling towers to parts washing and paint operations, resulting in a 62 percent reduction in global water consumption. This has also saved 10.6 gallons of H2O – that’s enough to fill 16.000 Olympic pools!

5. Fomo/Jomo: The fear of missing out and the joy of missing out: We have unlimited choice of when, where and how we spend our time. Car technologies for connectivity obviously help us stay connected but, truthfully, are we getting too addicted?

Insights:
Phantom vibration: We are so accustomed to waiting for vibration (ring-xiety) that it has become a reality. Nearly 90 percent of college grads in a 2012 US study said they felt phantom vibrations.
Cell phone stacking (yes, piling your mobiles on the table) is becoming a way to help people ensure an environment free of distraction when they socialize at bars and restaurants. The gig—the first person to pick up their phone picks up the tab for the table!

To keep up with Ford’s Trends on twitter visit #fordtrends

January 08, 2014

The Future of Car Technology: 2014 Infiniti Q50 Sport Sedan

at the news briefThe 2014 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan is much more than a fast and agile performance car.  This fine-tuned machine incorporates futuristic innovations that women will both understand and appreciate.


For example, the available Direct Adaptive Steering, (a world’s first for automotive), was initially developed by NASA in the 1970s and perfected in the airline industry. Its purpose was to respond more quickly than a pilot could.

Continue reading "The Future of Car Technology: 2014 Infiniti Q50 Sport Sedan" »

August 23, 2013

"Naked Paddock" Book Review: Drawing from life as a race car driver's wife

Naked-Paddock-Book-CoverArt mimics life in Kristin (MK) Ducote’s newly released book "Naked Paddock." In this novel Ducote’s main character and the events surrounding the lead's life are very similar to what Ducote herself has experienced. Throughout "Naked Paddock" there are many ‘true tales’ regarding a woman’s insights (and juicy behind-the-scenes drama) that occur within the fast and flashy world of motorsports, and nobody can tell it better than the wife of Le Mans driver Chapman Ducote.

Although Kristin Ducote grew up riding horses on a little farm in Florida, her humble (and very grounded) childhood and later adulthood helped to train and prepare her to be the amazingly successful 30-year-old she is today.

Continue reading ""Naked Paddock" Book Review: Drawing from life as a race car driver's wife" »

August 21, 2013

How to Eat Carefully While on a Road Trip


Healthy-Eating-Road-Trip_Thinkstock-105671811-sAs students prepare to return to school across the country, is your family planning a last-chance road trip? In addition to watching the road, are you also watching what you eat? For all the education we do about distracted driving awareness, this feature is going in a different direction: in this article we are sharing healthy eating tips while in the car, especially if you’re taking a family road trip!

My friend Amy Culver, also known as “The Queen of Lean” has shared the following tips on healthy, calorie-conscious choices you can make while in the car, so that with a little planning, you can save money, eat nutritiously, and create some nice family memories on your end-of-summer road trip.

Continue reading "How to Eat Carefully While on a Road Trip" »

August 12, 2013

2013 Ford Escape From A BMW X5 Owner's Perspective

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2014 Ford Escape

When you put a friend whose main ride is a fully loaded 2010 BMW X5 into the driver’s seat of a 2013 Ford Escape, you kind of hold your breath.

Then again, this Escape was all new: a delightful ginger metallic color with 19-inch painted aluminum wheels and silver roof rails. The charcoal black interior had leather-trimmed seats and a Sync activated voice system that Kathy quickly figured out. All in all, it was a pretty snazzy ride.

Kathy settled in and murmured,  “Nice seats, much more comfortable than my car.” Hmmmm…

Continue reading "2013 Ford Escape From A BMW X5 Owner's Perspective" »

July 05, 2013

2014 Acura MDX: Updated According to Consumer Feedback

 

2014-Acura-MDX-frontview_0090One of the most interesting aspects of being an automotive writer is discovering the back-story behind the technical, physical, and design elements of creating a better vehicle. Like fashion, electronics, and other industries, automakers update their products every year. But, how and why do they do it? 

Continue reading "2014 Acura MDX: Updated According to Consumer Feedback" »

June 03, 2013

2014 Kia Cadenza: Kudos for Kia’s Newest Luxury Sedan!

Kia previewed the 2014 Cadenza luxury sedan at L’Auberge Del Mar, an intimate resort outside of San Diego, California that sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. The property has 121 rooms with private balconies or patios and marble bathrooms, two lighted tennis courts, a spa and fitness center, an outdoor pool and hot tub and a verdant garden path that winds down to the ocean. The property once hosted the glitter of Hollywood in its glory days, including Lucy and Desi Arnaz, Bing Crosby and Esther Williams. The resort, like the Cadenza, is comfortable, stylish and carries the assurance of a long-standing institution. Kia Motors America (KMA) recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year.

Continue reading "2014 Kia Cadenza: Kudos for Kia’s Newest Luxury Sedan!" »

May 23, 2013

Come Party with Us and Find a Cure! Listen to AskPatty Radio and Learn About MOMS: Moms Opposing Multiple Sclerosis

6a00d8341c4f3653ef017eeabbde42970d-400wiJody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, is a mom with two adult children fighting Multiple Sclerosis. Her interest in opposing this disease is personal, and she partnering with the Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis during the month of May with AskPatty’s month-long MOMS social media campaign. Read the rest of Jody's story here.

On Thursday May 23, Jody DeVere shared her story live on BlogTalkRadio with special guests Marni Deckter, Vice President of Communications of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern California & Nevada Chapter; and Nancy L. Sicotte, MD, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program and Director of the Neurology Residency Training Program at Cedars-Sinai. Please listen to the recording of the BoomerandBabe channel of BlogTalk Radio  broadcast to learn more about this illness, its symptoms, and its treatments.

Continue reading "Come Party with Us and Find a Cure! Listen to AskPatty Radio and Learn About MOMS: Moms Opposing Multiple Sclerosis " »

April 24, 2013

Changing Faces: What the new-for-2014 Mitsubishi Outlander offers Women Drivers

Mitsubishi transported a group of journalists to central Oregon for the introduction of the 2014 Outlander, a seven-passenger crossover utility vehicle. The location in Redmond, Oregon--with wide-open roads, gentle hills and vistas to swoon over--was the kind of place the Outlander fits right in.

Continue reading "Changing Faces: What the new-for-2014 Mitsubishi Outlander offers Women Drivers" »

March 18, 2013

Toyota's Great Give-Away: 100 Cars for Charity

Noted. Facebook works for everything from keeping up with friends, keeping track of trends, to learning about great deals on cowboy boots.

Facebook also works for philanthropic outreach. Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good, a Facebook initiative, launched in 2011 and repeated in 2012, awarded 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over the period of 100 days to charitable organizations. In 2012, you helped Toyota give 100 vehicles to nonprofits. Daily winners were determined by popular vote on 100carsforgood.com. Now those vehicles are on the road and helping those in need.

Toyota is currently in discussions about how to repeat the plan for 2013. A representative from Toyota just this week explained that "the program will be placed on hold until further notice due to internal changes.  We're pleased that the program has helped many organizations and will continue to build on the program’s success while supporting nonprofit organizations.
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Five nonprofits were profiled each day at www.100carsforgood.com. Facebook users voted for the cause they feel would do the most good with a new vehicle. At the end of each day, the winner received a new vehicle and the four runners-up will receive a $1,000 cash grant from Toyota.

“The average person doesn’t think about a non-profit needing a vehicle to get its work done,” remarked Michael Rouse, Vice President of Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs for Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Rouse explained that the idea for 100 Cars for Good – a Facebook site for voting–was the result of a brainstorming meeting at the end of 2010. “We looked at what was going on in social media with non-profits and realized that, while we didn’t have a dollar budget to contribute, we do have cars and trucks. This program puts our products as the star of the show to help keep non-profits going.”

“Over the past 20 years, Toyota has contributed more than half a billion dollars to non-profits throughout the United States. 100 Cars for Good allows us to build on that commitment in new ways, putting the public in the ‘driver’s seat’ as we work to help community organizations make an even bigger impact,” offered Jim Lentz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Sales.

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In the past, local causes included Central Vermont Humane Society, A Child’s Place of Charlotte (helps local homeless children with school work, socialization and more), All Hands Volunteers (aids communities struck by natural disasters), Special Olympics Illinois, and Abby’s House (provides women and children across Central Massachusetts with shelter, housing and advocacy).
 
“In year one, when we announced that we were giving away 100 cars, perhaps people didn’t realize it was the real deal. Now everybody knows that it’s a legitimate program,” explained Rouse.

To learn more visit: www.100carsforgood.com.
 You can also see a short film at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjjeHoJbv1Y&feature=youtu.be






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