system, which is powered by Microsoft software, has been a huge hit for
Ford. Back in May 2009, the company announced that it had delivered
its one-millionth vehicle equipped with SYNC. That one-millionth vehicle, a
blue Ford Fusion Hybrid went to none other than boisterous Microsoft CEO Steve
This week, Ford is announcing that it has crossed
the three million mark with SYNC installations. The Dearborn,
Michigan-based company also noted that SYNC, which is a $395 option, has a take
rate of roughly 80 percent. Ford also tossed around some other statistics
including the fact that 80 percent of SYNC users would recommend the option to
others and nearly 70 percent of SYNC users regularly use the voice recognition
capabilities of the system.
“Not only is it proving to differentiate our products from the
competition, SYNC is becoming a key point of satisfaction," said Ken
Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
“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,” added Ford's Jim Buczkowski, Ford Electronics and Electrical
Systems Engineering, Research and Advanced Engineering Director. “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.”
Late last month, Ford announced the addition
of SYNC AppLink to the subcompact Ford Fiesta. SYNC AppLink allows drivers
to control their smartphones via voice commands and will soon be expanded to
additional Ford/Lincoln vehicles.
In other Ford news, the company has announced that it will
show the Ford Focus EV and it even posted a teaser
picture of the vehicle on Facebook. As its name implies, the Focus EV
ditches the gasoline powertrain for an electric motor and a generous
lithium-ion battery pack. Ford says that the vehicle will have a driving
range of 100 miles. Nissan's all-electric
Leaf is priced at around $32,000 before a $7,500 tax credit, so it should
be interesting to see how Ford prices its Focus EV. Production for the vehicle is scheduled to gear up later this year.