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Ford Focus Electric teaser pic

"Conventional" 2012 Ford Focus Sedan

Ford SYNC AppLink
Ford's SYNC system continues to be a hit with customers

The SYNC 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 Ballmer. 

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.

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Where's Apple?
By ZachDontScare on 1/4/2011 2:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
Much of the tech press (outside of here) has been telling us that MS has basically lost any chance of being competitive with phones or tablets, its too far behind to ever catch up, and that Apple is King.

Does this mean that Apple has lost any chance of being competitive in vehicular computers? As far as I know, Apple hasnt even attempted to venture into this arena. They better get on the ball. Soon every new vehicle will have something like sync in it. And every one will be running a Microsoft based OS.

RE: Where's Apple?
By rudy on 1/6/2011 5:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
Google is more likely the king not apple they move more units and are growing in market share. That will continue from here on out at least except a blip where verizon get the iphone.

Also vertical integration is king. The reason sony won with blue ray had nothing to do with blue ray it had everything to do with them owning large amounts of the movie business and catalog and the PS3.

Apple winning with the iphone had mostly to do with power and vertical integration based on ipod and itunes. Itunes was only because of their power, other companies tried and the music industry would not hear anything of it.

If apple wants to jump into cars they can do so by leveraging their market share in phones and mp3 players.

The same way M$ will jump into phones by leveraging vertical integration with your xbox, PC, and M$ office.

The game is far from over we are deep in the middle of the struggle for the next generation dominance. Most likely winners are still Google and M$ despite what clueless bloggers say.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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