FORD OFFERS SYNC APPLINK FOR 3.4 MILLION MORE CUSTOMERS; NEW
ORGANIZATION TO DRIVE GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY VISION
Industry-leading Ford SYNC® AppLink will be available on 3.4 million
more vehicles later this year; free upgrade enables current Ford
owners to access and control smartphone apps via voice command
New organizational alignments further Ford's vision to deliver a
seamless customer experience for drivers both inside and outside of
Ford names industry veteran Don Butler to lead company strategy for
developing fully integrated connected car experience
Building on the pioneering SYNC® in-car connectivity system it
launched in 2007, Ford Motor Company today announces new system
investments and organizational alignments to deliver the industry's
best fully integrated connected car and digital consumer experience.
"Ford was first to bring affordable and widely available advanced
connectivity features to the market starting with SYNC, putting Ford
firmly on the map as a technology company," said Raj Nair, group
vice president, Global Product Development. "With the rapid pace
of mobile and digital innovation, our goal is to move the bar yet
again, leveraging emerging technologies and the flexibility of the
SYNC platform to enhance the ownership experience for
Just ahead of expected additional announcements at the 2014
International CES®, the world's largest hands-on showcase of emerging
innovation, Ford announces it will expand its industry-leading SYNC
AppLink system to 3.4 million more vehicles currently on the road.
Since its launch in 2010, Ford has migrated SYNC AppLink to more
products and customers around the world, enabling vehicle owners to
access and control smartphone apps including TuneIn, NPR and
iHeartRadio via voice command. More than 1-million vehicles equipped
with SYNC AppLink are on the road today, and another 3.4 million
vehicles model year 2010 and newer will be eligible to download
AppLink later this year.
Currently, SYNC AppLink allows users to seamlessly control over 60
smartphone mobile apps on both iOS and Android platforms - using the
car's voice commands, enabling drivers to keep their eyes on the road
and hands on the wheel. Ford is the first automaker to offer an open
developer program, www.developer.ford.com, to help keep customers
connected inside the vehicle and will continue to add new SYNC-enabled
smartphone apps to enhance the driving experience.
Today, consumers continue to demand more personalized, simplified and
integrated in-vehicle experiences. And, with consumers spending more
time with digital media than with any other, Ford hopes to turn the
connected vehicle into an intelligent vehicle, one that simplifies and
personalizes the in-vehicle experience for the consumer.
Beyond the in-car experience, Ford's ultimate goal is to use
connectivity and digital to transform every aspect of the ownership
experience, and to build the foundation for future mobility
initiatives. With the eventual proliferation of embedded telematics
capabilities for Ford Motor Company's SYNC system, as recently
announced on Lincoln MKC, a newly aligned organization will manage
connectivity across the entire enterprise.
"SYNC launched a sort of connectivity arms race in the
industry," said Jim Farley, executive vice president, Global
Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. "The opportunity is
much bigger than just in-car technology it's now about connecting
the vehicle to a larger ecosystem leveraging 'the Internet of things.'
We are creating a seamless and immersive experience for customers that
begins with their first visit to our digital sites and continues
throughout their ownership experience."
Leading the newly aligned organization is automotive and telematics
industry veteran Don Butler, who brings a wealth of experience. Butler
will report to Nair, with matrix reporting to Farley and Nick Smither,
group vice president and chief information officer. Butler was most
recently vice president, Global Strategy for Cadillac at General
Motors, where he also led strategy and business development for the
company's OnStar division. Butler also served as vice president for
telematics startup INRIX.
"Not only does Don understand the connected car landscape, but
probably just as important, he understands customer
expectations," said Nair. "Having a leader with technology
experience both inside and outside the industry is a rare combination
we're excited to have Don join our team."
In the newly created position of executive director, Connected Vehicle
and Services, Butler is responsible for Ford's global integrated
connectivity vision and strategy. He will lead development of a near-,
mid- and long-term plan, with the goal of delivering a best-in-class
customer experience both inside and outside of the vehicle.
As part of Ford's plan to deliver a fully integrated connected car
experience, the Connected
Vehicle and Services group will work with the newly created Global
Digital Marketing organization to help accelerate the goal of
connecting customers to their vehicles.