By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Ford will offer HD Radio on most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models in the first aggressive push into HD Radio by a major U.S. automaker.
Until now only BMW and Mini Cooper offered HD Radio with Jaguar and Hyundai planning spot offerings in 2008.
Ford is now supplying HD Radio as a dealer-installed option for 19 of 23 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models in the 2008 model year. The choice of two HD-Radio add-ons are also backward compatible with most 2005 to 2007 models, it said.
Dealers have been able to order the options for about a week, a Ford spokesman said. Consumers have been coming into car dealerships asking for HD Radio, he added.
To support Ford's launch, the HD Digital Radio Alliance will kick off a 13-week radio marketing campaign in partnership with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers in 100 markets over about 700 radio stations beginning today.
With the announcement, Ford becomes the first automaker to offer HD Radio as a dealer-installed option. BMW and sister brand Mini Cooper offer HD Radio as a factory-installed option on all of their models, the HD Radio Alliance said. Jaguar will offer it as a factory-installed option in the 2008-model-year XJ Sedan, as will Hyundai in its 2008-model-year premium sports sedan, the Alliance said.
Ford's two new HD-Radio multicast-capable add-ons are both made by Peripheral Electronics at a suggested $279 and $299. The latter adds iPod connectivity. Installation takes about a half hour, adding up to about $50 to the price, according to the Alliance.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.