Women in Manufacturing (WiM) hosted its fifth annual Women in Automotive Conference on April 26-27, 2016. The Conference was co-supported by the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) and Inforum AutomotiveNEXT. It was held in Michigan at the Detroit Marriott Troy and was another fantastic event attended by both women and men across the automotive industry. The agenda provided information and forecasts regarding emerging automotive trends and hot topics, interspersed with plenty of opportunities for networking.

Key Takeaway

One of the many highlights of the Conference was the presentation by Sheryl Connelly, Manager, Global Consumer Trends & Futuring at Ford Motor Company, regarding 10 Trends for 2016 and Beyond. She discussed the top 10 trends that Ford is tracking. For example, she described an increased focus on purpose and utility that is impacting decisions from housing to vehicles among Millennials. The industry also is tracking the impact of the time poverty trend on vehicle consumers –which refers to the fact that people feel that they are “on call” all of the time due to constant connectivity. Another interesting trend is the fact that people are living longer from generation to generation and, therefore, needing to drive longer. She explained that this aging trend is yet another influencer in the push to bring autonomous vehicles to market because it will allow aging generations to remain independent for longer.

This year’s Conference featured a number of other dynamic speakers from across the automotive industry, whose topics included:

  • North American Automotive Forecast
  • From Manufacturing to Smart Factory
  • Crash Course: Vehicle Cyber Security
  • Labor Relations: What’s New and How It Affects You
  • Game Changers in the Automotive Industry
  • Manufacturing in the Age of Experiences

More information about this Year’s Women in Automotive Conference is available on Women in Manufacturing’s website.

This article originally appeared on Foley’s Dashboard Insights blog.