According to Ford, SYNC and MyFordTouch are sold on 79% of new Ford vehicles. The former was launched in 2007. The latter in 2010. Voice control and touch screen interfaces, which the two represent, are said to be a competitive advantage for Ford. For example, according to ford, 53% of 2013 Escape CUV buyers said the touch screen was a top purchase reason vs. 22% in the segment.
But then there is the other side of the story.
In the recently released J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), Ford performed well below industry average. That is, the average is 113 problems per 100 vehicles. Ford scored 131. (Lincoln, which has its own variant of MyFordTouch tied the industry average.)
According to J.D. Power, “The study finds that many of the problems owners have with their vehicle relate to the driver interface, which includes voice recognition or hands-free technology, Bluetooth pairing for mobile phones, and the navigation system, among others.”
Sort of sounds like SYNC and MyFordTouch, doesn’t it?
Well, Ford recently announced that it was going back to the future, by adding knobs to its interface for its systems.
Seems like all of those purchasers notwithstanding, there isn’t a whole lot of satisfaction with its systems, which is leading to a fairly significant modification. (Sort of telling that Microsoft, which “powers” SYNC, had to go back, too, on its Windows 8 to add what is arguably its version of a knob: a Start button.)
Chris Preuss is head of Communications—the Americas and Global Product, Ford Motor Company. He was once president and CEO of OnStar. Which pretty much puts him in the center of infotainment and connectivity issue that are increasingly germane to the industry.
And Preuss addressed those issues and a variety of others (including doing a damn good impersonation of Bob Lutz; he worked with Lutz when he was a communications vp with GM) along with Peter DeLorenzo of Autoextremist.com, John McElroy of Autoline, and Gary Vasilash of, well, this.
What’s more, the three aforementioned tackle a variety of other subjects germane to the latest developments in the auto industry.
All of which you can watch right here: