Automobiles are a long-lead business. It takes years to get a car to market, and because of that, carmakers need a crystal ball to gaze into, lest the sands of consumer desire shift out from under their feet. Ford has just released its 2013 Trend report, and the word from Dearborn is that things are looking up for 2013.

According to Ford, we're collectively coming out of a crisis-induced haze of negativism and entering a new phase of self-reliant trust in ourselves and each other while still remaining skeptical of big institutions. It's kind of like Ford is saying, "Hey, we're glad you're over it... oh, and by the way, it wasn't our fault. Buy our cars."

Ford's report notes that people want brands they think care about them, deliver good value and honest dealing. If they don't get what they want, consumers will call out corporations via newly powerful social media channels and consumer action. Ford says it's not that customers expect perfection all the time, but trusted brands react with grace and candor when there is a problem, solving it swiftly and helping to reinforce that sense of connection and authenticity that Ford says we all want. That should be helpful as Ford grapples with recent recalls.

There's more in the report, most of which sounds like Ford took a survey course in 2012 customers. Even so, these forehead-smackingly-obvious revelations might actually educate the insulated and out-of-touch about the zeitgeist of the nation. Or not. Check out the report yourself (in PDF) here.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      wayoflife73
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am a Holden bloke but owned 2 fords in my time and I honestly have to say they were the two most reliable cars I have owned. The worst a Mitsubishi magna I hope they find what they are seeking as they have some good cars!
      John
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, you can always trust the engine in your new model to catch on fire. ;)
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      1) Build less vehicles that spontaneously combust. And no, I'm not a Ford hater - I just sold one that owned for 17 years.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        How many times did your car spontaneously combust?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      REOakes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jeez, Dan. Could you be any more snarky? Less attitude and more reporting would be appreciated. Though Autoblog readers may not be as smart or hip as you, we are still capable of making up our own minds about corporate initiatives like this one.
      Banf_1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like wtf does autoblog report about, is this real automotive news?
      dave and mary
      • 2 Years Ago
      When you have initial quality problems as Ford does, the Board gets together and says "we need to put more imphasis on SYNC and Eco-Boost and our myriad of other great and fine features!" "Start a new ad campaign immediately!" Everyday folk-speak interprets: we are making junk. People don't like junk. Don't focus on our junk. Focus on sparkle and glitter and the dumb public will buy a Ford anyway.
      jason_golden
      • 2 Years Ago
      The power of social media has definitely altered the car business. The transmission of information is swift, whereby car comparisions, opinons & reviews, and pricing are all readily available online. We're in an era where every manufacturer makes a "good" and desireable" product, each equipped with similarly-packaged technology...and these brands are challenged to set themselves apart from the competition. Ford, like anyone else in the business, knows that brand image, brand equity, and ultimately - brand trust - are serious components of the new car purchase decision. Ford survived a boatload of recalls and service campaigns in the last 12 years. They've done just fine with their PR.
        Bill
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jason_golden
        The doc is not going to light the fires of the Autoblog crowd, but it shows they try to think big picture. Increasingly for better or worse cars are more or less similar, so part of a carmaker's strategy has to be how to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the consumer.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jason_golden
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      fly by wireless
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Ford, You've done a great job since 2005 or so but the last few years of great designs released too early with too many bugs have me feeling bad about the longevity of your resurgence. Please work the bugs out of your stuff before you put it on the market. Great + crummy != Great. Whatever you did with the 1st gen Fusion, do it with everything else you build. Thank you, Almost former Ford admirer.
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh God, this must be the latest hipster buzzword of the season, aka: zeitgeist.
    • Load More Comments