Ford invited us down to the very swanky new St.Giles centre in Central London to marvel at the new Ford BMax and enjoy a enthused discussion about change and innovation with a panel of experts from automotive design, architecture, business and technology World-renowned architect and author Will Alsop; Lucy Johnson, the founder of creative young talent movement, BrightYoungBrits; and Ford trends expert Erika Tsubaki.
The conversation was an interesting half hour, hosted by comedian Alexander Armstrong and took the form of a light hearted quiz. Of course, the most interesting part to me was an engineering joke I’d never heard before.
To an optimist the glass is half full, to the pessimist half empty and to an engineer the glass is the wrong size.
This led to an interesting discussion on the trend of “right-sizing.” With up to 40% of Europe’s large car owners looking for smaller more efficient cars and 20% of small cars owners seeking more space, cars like the B-MAX are ideal. I mooted the idea that “given how isolated and lonely modern life can be, is there a market for single person cars”. Sadly I was laughed down but I think it’s the logical conclusion for right-sizing. Watch this space.
With many consumers in Europe facing financial pressures, the status symbol of owning the most expensive, biggest or fastest is taking a back seat to being a smart, savvy or sustainable consumer.
Henry Mason of global trend experts trendwatching.com.
The B-MAX is a small multi-activity vehicle and can carry loads of up to 2.3m long, despite being just 4.1m in length. The key innovation is the Easy Access Door System, which makes it a cinch to pop in and out, and great for dealing with luggage. It’s the sort of car that will make you popular with people moving house.
The BMax also offers best-in-class fuel efficient engines, Ford ECOnetic Technology innovations and Ford’s premium SYNC voice control system so you can control your music and mobile communcation without fiddling with buttons.
The new B-MAX goes on sale in the UK in September 2012.