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Microsoft Steve Balmer gets pumped up about SYNC and his new Ford Fusion Hybrid, courtesy of Ford CEO Alan Mullaly, and in celebration of one million SYNC vehicles produced.  (Source: Autoblog)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is thrilled to be getting his new Ford Fusion

In the realm of automotive sales, exclusive features often provide an important means of differentiating oneself from the competition.  GM has OnStar and Ford has its SYNC functionality, a hot feature which allows for the integration of mobile phones and portable media players with Ford vehicles among other things.  The feature was developed by software giant Microsoft in close collaboration with Ford, and is featured in many new Ford models, including the sleek and fuel efficient Ford Fusion hybrid.

The Ford and Microsoft partnership proved a match made in heaven and 80 percent of Ford's vehicles now feature the system.  An update is on the way as well which is set to add turn-by-turn uploadable directions and more to the SYNC interface. 

The system has been driving sales and has helped Ford likely be the only domestic automaker to avoid bankruptcy and government regulation.  As a special thank you to Microsoft, Ford delivered Microsoft CEO and Detroit native Steve Ballmer a pale blue 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid, the millionth vehicle produce with Sync onboard according to Autoblog.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally personally delivered the new car to Mr. Ballmer.  His purchase may have been largely a symbolic gesture, but the fun thing is Mr. Ballmer seemed genuinely excited.  Of course, this isn't entirely surprising -- the Fusion is a very well-designed vehicle, rated an impressive 41 mpg, with many users report much higher mileages thanks to the car's aggressive fuel-saving strategies.  Mr. Mulally pledged to "continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers' lifestyles."

Currently SYNC offers navigation and entertainment systems, and a feature called 911 Assist, which calls emergency services in the event of an accident (similar to GM's OnStar).



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RE: lol
By 67STANG on 5/28/2009 8:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I do live in the world of the Big 3. You know, companies that fall into the same category and are always compared. Not really sure how the Japanese 3 are the same as the Big 3.... but then again, I guess that's because I don't get distracted by shiny objects.

Again, apples and oranges. I'm talking about the Big 3, not foreign auto manufacturers. Sorry, that the obvious implicatoin wasn't crystal clear for you...

I'm certainly aware of Mullaly going to congress to secure a $9 billion credit line. Let's see, how much of that have they used.... Oh, that's right. $0.00. Care to guess how much they owe on $0.00 to tax payers?

You have to look at the plain facts. Many of the dealerships that are closing are defined as "under performing". That means most of these dealerships are in rural areas-- which lean towards buying American. If Chrysler and GM are even further away from the consumers, but Ford is around, who do you think will get the business?

It's obvious that common sense evades you. If you honestly think that a foreign auto manufacturer is going to pick up more of GM and Chrysler's slack than a domestic manufacturer, you're even more dense than I first suspected.


RE: lol
By mondo1234 on 5/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: lol
By 67STANG on 5/29/2009 12:38:23 AM , Rating: 3
Ahhh, the slip of keystroke makes your argument? I suppose that's a good Plan B for you.

Ford went to Washington to support the other domestic auto makers. They also (wisely) secured a $9 billion loan in an uncertain time when borrowing money is increasingly difficult. If you were in their spot, you would do the same. If they don't have to use it, then all the better. You know what? They likely won't have to.

GM and Chrysler are closing dealerships while Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, etc. are not because of corporate mismanagement, bland/boring vehicle design and UAW contracts that made it nearly impossible to turn a profit while remaining competitive. Ford would be in the same position had they not gotten extremely lucky, deciding to restructure prior the current financial mess we are in.

Clear enough?


RE: lol
By CZroe on 5/29/2009 3:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
Also, wouldn't they likely have few dealerships in the areas where they aren't so popular in the first place?


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