Ford: SYNC Hits 2 Million Unit Mark, Lifts Resale Prices
DEARBORN, Mich. — On Wednesday, Ford commemorated another milestone for its SYNC voice-controlled communications and infotainment system, while also sharing the resale benefits the platform offers.
Ford said that the SYNC system was recently set up in the 2 millionth vehicle. Just 10 months ago, Ford celebrated SYNC reaching the 1 million unit milestone.
About 10 months ago, the 1 millionth SYNC-equipped ride went to Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer. Which was somewhat apt, as the SYNC system is built on the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive software platform, officials noted.
"Microsoft and Ford share a common vision when it comes to connecting drivers and passengers to their digital lifestyles," stated Kevin Dallas, general manager of Microsoft's Windows Embedded Business.
"The beauty of building on the Windows Embedded Automotive software platform is that its flexibility has enabled Ford to create new, engaging in-vehicle experiences over the past three years for their consumers to enjoy behind the wheel," he continued. "We're excited to see what new roads SYNC explores in the future."
Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, added: "The success of SYNC proves that customers want to be connected.
"The speed with which we've hit the 2 million mark, the premium SYNC adds at auction and the improvements in purchase consideration show that it is a true differentiator for us, adding real value for the customer," he continued.
SYNC certainly shows its value during "resale time," according to Ford.
Specifically, after a year of being driven, SYNC-equipped 2008 Ford Focus models resale for $248 more, on average, than a non-equipped model of the same vehicle. Even after two years of being driven, the premium on SYNC-equipped 2008 Focus models is $200.
Ford said it can isolate SYNC and determine its resale values through "company-exclusive statistical VIN-decoding vehicle option residual impact modeling strategy."
What's more, the automaker said that one-third of Ford SYNC-equipped vehicle owners surveyed in a recent study claimed that SYNC was a strong influence on their purchase.
Ford also suggested that the enhancements it has made to the SYNC system since first offering it on the 2008 model line — without upping the price ($395) — have played a role in adding value, as well.
For instance, 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports were included the 2009 model line. Owners of 2008 models can get these upgrades at their local dealerships.
Ford also integrated GPS receiver into 2010 models to enhance SYNC even more. Now, drivers can use the Traffic, Directions & Information app to get direction to specific locations. Other services of TDI include personalized traffic reports and up-to-date business listings, news, sports and weather.
The services of TDI are free for the first three years of ownership. After that, they cost $60 per year.
Continuing on, Ford also looked at the satisfaction level of SYNC-equipped vehicle owners, noting that 87 percent of owners said they are satisfied with how it runs. Meanwhile, 88 percent said they would recommend others to buy a SYNC-equipped ride.
Next up, Ford examined how users are taking advantage of SYNC's services. Interestingly, two-thirds use it for hands-free calling on a daily basis. Moreover, almost nine out of 10 (89 percent) claim to do so at least once a week.
Also, Ford said over half take advantage of the voice-activated dialing features.
Meanwhile, up to almost two-fifths (39 percent) of drivers aware of the TDI application are using it to access directions, real-time traffic services and search local business.