Monday, April 20, 2009

New Trend Forecast Reveals Evolution of Lawn Care in the 21st Century

Husqvarna Finds Technology, Innovation and EcoSmart™ Solutions at the Center of American’s Future Gardening Plans. CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Husqvarna, the global leader in outdoor powered products, released details of a global gardening trend report produced in conjunction with a leading trend forecasting agency, The Future Laboratory.

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Global Gardening Trend Report

Press Manager

For North American media enquiries, please contact Ketchum.

The Husqvarna Global Gardening Trend Report incorporated interviews with over 6,000 people from eight countries* and asked a series of questions relating to gardening and how the development of technology may impact future behavior. Insights were gained into current trends and how social, cultural, economic and technological forces shape how homeowners with all sizes of yards spend their time and money.

In a summary of U.S. findings, the report revealed: 

• When asked about their vision of the yard of the future, 38% of the 1,000 U.S. homeowners surveyed suggested one that is entirely self-maintaining.
– 26% want a yard that is a “self-sufficient ecosystem.”

• One in five people across all countries surveyed (U.S., Britain, France, Scandinavia, Russia) see a benefit of technology to automate lawn care tasks.

• Twenty percent of Americans surveyed feel the economic downturn affects their future gardening plans.
– Twenty-three percent want to grown their own food.

Visions of the Future

The research findings have culminated in stunning visions of the future, focused on the use of our outdoor space and how ongoing technological developments may affect usage. These scenarios have been determined taking in to consideration current and future social and cultural concerns including the economy and the environment.

Future Scenarios

The Intelligent Yard:
• This intelligent outdoor space is driven by a busy lifestyle and desire for a low maintenance yard.
• Within the next two decades, we could see gardens that are capable of watering and feeding themselves, lawns that can submit growth development reports and even self-pruning plants.
• Gardeners will have the ability to simulate different weather and soil conditions, allowing them to experiment with unusual and tropical plants that previously could only grow in greenhouse environments or within their natural habitat
• Technology, such as Automower® and Automower® Solar Hybrid from Husqvarna is already being used in the U.S. and around the world.
• The Gardena® AquaContour® automatic irrigation system is also available now as well as a Gardena automatic soil moisture sensor.

The Organic Home:
• The truly “green” home of the future.
• Sustainable and self sufficient including: 
• Green roofs, vertical planting, rainwater recovery systems. 
• The economy has played a major role in changing gardening behaviors and will play a key role in shaping the future. The emerging ‘make do and mend’ attitude has been caused by looming credit worries, lack of consumer confidence, rising food prices and limited personal spending has increased the need and desire to become self sufficient.
• Yard becomes a source of food, shelter and relief. 
• Husqvarna TB 1000 cultivator was recently introduced to provide a no-emission option for gardeners.
• Husqvarna 540 Reel Mower sales on the increase.

Report findings and future scenarios underscored Husqvarna’s long-standing commitment to innovation and the environment. From new, no emission, battery-powered products to high-tech, low emission gas-powered engines, Husqvarna offers a range of products with EcoSmart solutions designed to lessen their impact on the environment.

“Being a Swedish company, our environmental philosophy has always permeated the development of new products – it’s an integral part of our business,” said Dave Zerfoss, president of Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc.

EcoSmart Solutions: The Future Now

Automower® Solar Hybrid

Automower® Solar Hybrid from Husqvarna is a fully robotic lawn mower partly powered by the sun and uses no petrol fuel or oil.

The Solar Hybrid mower is designed to handle lawns of up to a half acre. Incorporating solar and battery power, it uses considerably less energy than any conventional mower with its large integrated solar panel and is emissions-free. When there is daylight available, the solar cells enable the mower to extend its cutting periods before requiring a recharge. Lower power consumption and an extended battery life enable a faster, more environmentally improved cut.

Automower® Solar Hybrid mower is programmable to be personalized via timer, and charges itself when required by returning to its base. The 22-pound mower cuts every day, day or night, rain or shine and has a 4-digit pin code lock feature required to operate the mower and an alarm for security. Other safety features include lightweight and out-of-reach blades and automatic shut off when the device is lifted from the ground. Additionally, the three razor-like blades cut the grass cleanly and more often than a traditional mower which leaves shorter clippings that decompose faster and provide a natural fertilizer for an even better-looking yard.

Automower® 230ACX, 220AC, 210C

Husqvarna introduces its newest fully robotic, battery-powered lawn mowers - taking the manual work out of an often tedious chore. Three models, the 230ACX, 220AC and the 210C, offer options for the homeowner looking for an environmentally responsible way to mow.

Automower® functions in the same capacity as the Automower Solar Hybrid, however, it operates on battery alone.

TB 1000 Battery Cultivator

The world’s first battery-powered cultivator delivers results like any gas driven cultivator in its class, but without noise and emissions. This cordless, multipurpose cultivator is a versatile workhorse that can be fitted with accessories for ridging, detaching and edging.

The high capacity battery offers the same performance of gasoline engines and delivers 30-45 minutes of battery life per charge. The touch-controls, adjustable handlebar, and overall ergonomic and compact design make this cultivator very comfortable and easy to use.

Husqvarna 540 Push Reel Mower

For homeowners seeking less impact on the environment when mowing, there’s a renewed interest in reel mowers. The new model offers much easier maneuverability from reel mowers of the past, requires no gas or oil, and has no emissions with a quieter mowing experience. Homeowners can mow their own grass with a cost-efficient alternative and get healthy exercise as well.

About Husqvarna

Husqvarna is the world's largest producer of lawn mowers, chainsaws and portable gas-powered garden equipment such as trimmers and blowers. The Group is also a world leader in diamond tools and cutting equipment for the construction and stone industries. Net sales in 2008 were 4.9 billion U.S. dollars and the average number of employees was 15,700.

* The report incorporated 6,066 interviews with people from the following countries:

• UK
• France
• The Nordics – Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark
• Russia
• The USA