AHC Group

Trend Watching

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Courtesy of AHC Group

Ever since Henry Ford introduced the Model T, Americans have been infatuated with the grace, force and splendor of cars. More than simply providing transportation, the automobile offers freedom, mobility, convenience, power, status, and comfort. Today, the notion of personal transport is undergoing profound changes in response to environmental, social, and economic pressures. The mounting war in Iraq may indeed accelerate these changes as concerns about accessible and affordable fossil fuels come back to haunt us once again, and as a new age of efficiency in transport
and post Enron energy development emerges. Some think this may harken European and Americans back to a post WW II kind of social frugality and fear based buying patterns. Price and performance have been the traditional chief considerations of most consumers when purchasing a product such as a car. In the 21st century, a third factor -- social pressures -- is playing an increasingly important role. Products are being designed to respond to growing social pressures about the need for long-term sustainability and the preservation of our environment. I believe this “social response product development” trend is the key new driver behind real and lasting environmental progress. Did you know that the automobile industry is the world’s largest manufacturing enterprise? Each year it produces more than 44 million cars and trucks. A large part of the success of the auto industry is due to the built-in need for cars that has been
systemically assembled since World War II by leaders of all nations in cooperation with the petrochemical, development and tourism industries.

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