It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Ford Fiesta, having preordered my 2011 Fiesta sedan before they even arrived at Ford dealerships. It’s four years old now, and Ford has refreshed the fun Fiesta for the 2014 model year, in a midcycle makeover offering styling changes, improved technology, and a brand-new super-fuel-efficient engine choice.
This month, AskPatty spent some time with Tony Molla, the Vice President of Communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to discuss the topic of general car maintenance and helping women drivers to better know what your car needs.
It’s hard to keep focused while we’re in the car. As Moms, we’re always busy; we’ve got places to go, kids to haul around, and errands to run. And the temptation to take care of small details while stopped at a light or when stuck in traffic is powerful if we feel we can save a few minutes later.
The Fact Is: Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries and even death.
St. Patrick’s Day has become a worldwide celebration of Irish culture in which people of all backgrounds take part in the festivities, which often include green beer, Irish whiskey, or other types of alcohol. However, revelers still have to get home from the party and drinking -- and driving just don't mix! According to MADD.com, drunk driving kills nearly 10,000 people in the United States each year and injures almost 350,000 more.
How can you ensure a safe and sober St. Patrick’s Day? AskPatty offers these tips for your celebrations:
Be a Responsible Party Host!
Party hosts may be held responsible in a court of law if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a car accident. Make sure your guests have arranged alternate transportation before the party begins, or help them to set up alternate transportation. Take the car keys away from friends and relatives who have had too much to drink. Be sure to have a couple of taxi numbers on hand, or appoint your own designated driver to help drive your guests home. Tell your guests at the start of your party, and pass around a tip jar to help fill up your friends’ gas tank!
The all-new Cadillac ELR electric luxury coupe shared the “Green” carpet with dozens of eco-aware celebrities who attended the annual Global Green USA Pre Oscar® Party this week, and we’ve got a slideshow of dozens of those celebrities posing with Cadillac’s luxurious -- and eco-friendly -- sport coupe.
Global Green USA is an organization dedicated to fighting climate change, and each year their event is considered to be THE green event of Oscar Week! This year, General Motors continued its “Green Carpet” tradition by showcasing the Cadillac ELR at this high-profile event which brings together a wide array of eco-celebrities (many of whom drive electric and hybrid vehicles) to raise funds and awareness for environmental issues and to inspire their fans to drive electric cars.
Let’s face it, women are buying more vehicles than ever and while many appreciate the look of hot bodies and taut muscles, we also care about what’s underneath a pretty face. There’s plenty of opportunity to experience both at the Chicago Auto Show, the largest auto show in America.
The special reveals for the motoring press have now finished and it’s show time for consumers to get up-close-and-personal with a captivating collection of all-new releases, charismatic concepts, and carry-over-but-updated production models for the upcoming year. In addition to the flashy exteriors in charming colors and under-the-hood ‘might and muscle,’ you’ll find some of the world’s latest and greatest technologies that range from audio, communication, and comfort upgrades to innovative safety features, designed to keep you and your family coddled and protected in your modern-day cocoon.
Front Page News: The Volvo Car Group is undertaking an $11 billion strategy to boost the Swedish automaker’s position in the global marketplace.
New for 2014: The Swedish company just revealed a trio of 2015 Volvo 60-series models with the new Drive-E powertrains. The trio consists of the V60 station wagon, S60 sedan, and XC60 crossover.
The skinny? In what's noted as the largest refresh in the company’s history, the four-cylinder lightweight, low-emission engines were developed in Sweden and will be implemented on each new model that Volvo rolls out in the near future.
Advertisers shelled out millions of dollars to promote their products and services during Super Bowl® XLVIII, using everything from adorable puppies to famous celebrities to keep you watching and entertained during the commercial breaks, when you might normally run off to the bathroom or kitchen.
Automakers spent their fair share to grab the attention of car shoppers, with more than a dozen commercials from companies like Ford, Toyota, Honda and Smart promoting eco and family friendly vehicles to Cadillac, Jaguar, Maserati, and even Kia promoting their luxurious and exotic choices.
“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.”
“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.
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.
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