US: Ford says SYNC now in 3m vehicles; voice control 'on rise'
Ford says that its 'SYNC' in-car connectivity system has now been installed on its 3 millionth vehicle in North America since introduction in 2007.
"Ford SYNC is clearly making a difference in our customer experience," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. "Not only is it proving to differentiate our products from the competition, SYNC is becoming a key point of satisfaction."
Ford SYNC was first available for the 2008 Ford Focus, with an option price of USD395, in the latter part of 2007 and quickly migrated across Ford's product lines. Today, SYNC is available on all Ford and Lincoln products, except those that are largely commercial or fleet use. The option price remains at USD395 for most vehicles, but now includes several new standard features such as 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report, and SYNC Services.
Ford claims that customers buying Ford vehicles are treating SYNC as a 'must-have' technology, purchasing the system, when available, nearly 80 percent of the time on current 2011 models – up about 4 percentage points compared to 2010 models. SYNC is standard across the Lincoln lineup.
Ford's research shows that nearly 70 percent of SYNC owners reported that they use the SYNC voice controls while driving.
"When we introduced SYNC, we were committed to making voice recognition a highly useful tool for the driver, and this research confirms we're on track," said Jim Buczkowski, a Henry Ford Technical Fellow and director of Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering, Research and Advanced Engineering.
"Ford remains committed to being the company that will continue to raise the bar on voice recognition as the primary user interface – giving customers the connectivity they want while helping them keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel."