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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 rudolphna on 5/28/2009 9:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, how about this. He is talking about Domestic Auto makers, not foreign brands for one thing. Next, $9b in line of credit is NOT a bailout, its asking for just that, credit in case conditions worsen. And Ford has been building much higher quality cars for the better part of the last decade, I would say at least since 2003, more so since 2006. Ford isn't only selling Trucks and SUVs now, though they do still sell them; as do honda, toyota, and nissan. Oil won't get to nearly the price it was before. I think it is predicted it will settle somewhere between $2.50 and $2.75 which they actually say is a pretty healthy place for it to be.

Its the whole "what goes up must go down" thing. The price of oil dropped phenomenally far, and fast. What we are experiencing now is the "bounce back" effect. Also, I know plenty of people who had previously refused to buy Fords, now seriously considering a Fusion, a mustang, an edge or etc. They are seriously impressed, which is a very good sign. Oh and by the way, this car wasn't given away, he bought it. Alan only delivered it to him in person.

RE: lol
By mondo1234 on 5/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: lol
By 67STANG on 5/29/2009 2:12:07 AM , Rating: 4
Toyota is a domestic auto maker, manufactured in Kentucky.

I'll correct that for you:

Toyota is a foreign auto maker, with a manufacturing plant in Kentucky.

Ford shouldn't be giving away a vehicle if there is a chance they will come to the government in the future for funds

So Ford shouldn't spend $45k on giving away a vehicle, which obviously was for marketing their Sync technology? They should probably just stop all forms of advertising and close up shop. Yeah, that'll do it.

Back under the bridge with you.

RE: lol
By CZroe on 5/29/2009 3:14:14 AM , Rating: 3
Yup. What a silly argument. Is Ford a foreign automaker just because they have some manufacturing plants in other countries?

RE: lol
By Samus on 5/29/2009 4:34:53 PM , Rating: 5
My Focus was made in Mexico out of German parts. MASA to the moon!

RE: lol
By jconan on 5/29/2009 4:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
as of lately the price of oil has risen up to 2.87 for 92... it's only going up and maybe down a little but then up.

RE: lol
By Spuke on 5/29/2009 5:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
as of lately the price of oil has risen up to 2.87 for 92.
You mean the price of gas, right?

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