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Financial Health

Ford Future Competitiveness

While the world may seem stagnated by gridlocked governments and economic uncertainty, the truth is that we live in an era of constant change. Across the globe, citizens and brands are stepping up to make things happen through innovation, collaboration and perseverance.

Ford, for example, is launching 23 new or significantly refreshed products worldwide in 2014. While it once took five years to bring a new product to market, it now takes only 36 months. This accelerated pace is part of a broader sustained explosion in technology and innovation worldwide.

Notably, this new era of rapid change demands a corresponding mindfulness of the precious resources we too often take for granted: our time, our health, our population and our planet. Out of a world of hyper-stimulation, a culture of reflection is emerging, driving us to re-examine what matters most.

The marketplace is inundated with disruptive technology, such that even dramatic innovations are now viewed as commonplace. At the same time, consumers are increasingly drawn to the way things were, driving demand for nostalgia-based products and services.

To remain relevant and competitive in the long run, we need to prepare for a future that looks significantly different from the present. As we think about the forces that will shape global markets in the years to come, we look at many factors, including consumer trends, business risks, and other inputs into and outcomes of our materiality analysis. This analysis has reinforced our belief that profound shifts are underway that will fundamentally reshape both the markets for our products and services, and the constraints under which auto manufacturers will operate in the future. One obvious driver of change is population growth: The United Nations predicts that the global population will reach 9 billion by 2050 and increase to 10.1 billion by 2100. Another is the shift in the locus of rapid economic growth from more mature markets to evolving economies in China, India, Brazil and other countries. (See Focus on Asia for insight into our growth in that region.)

These trends, along with advances in conventional and renewable energy technologies, are leading to significant shifts in energy supply and demand, several of which are highlighted in the World Energy Outlook 2013, a publication of the International Energy Agency (IEA):

  • Despite widespread efforts to use energy more efficiently, energy demand is projected to grow by one third by 2035 (from 2011) with India and countries in Southeast Asia taking the lead in driving consumption higher.
  • Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 20 percent to 2035, leaving the world on track for a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Celsius, far above the internationally agreed 2-degree (Celsius) climate target.

We believe we have taken a responsible course to plan our products based on doing our part to achieve climate stabilization. Our comprehensive water strategy takes into account water-related risks and opportunities across our value chain.

To meet the needs of our customers and contribute to addressing the global sustainability issues of the future, we are applying our core competencies, including innovation and partnership-building, to develop solutions for future mobility that reflect the realities of a changing world.