When the Ford Motor Company began to look at the needs of older drivers, they pioneered a ‘third age suit’ to give their engineers a taste of mobility issues associated with ageing. The suit added bulk and restricted movement on key joints, spurring on the design of a car that has more headroom and is easier to get in and out of. The resulting Ford Focus has been a runaway success as the best-selling hatchback in the UK. What Ford fell upon, by accident rather than design, was a car with greater comfort and accessibility that had all-age appeal.

In my latest column for Fresh Business Thinking, I look at the opportunities and challenges for designers and product developers to sell in to a growing market of discerning consumers, who just happen to be over 50. Click here to view the article.

In the next column I will be addressing employment issues and opportunities for this powerful generation. If you have any stories to share please contact me on