Ford To Expand Sync Availability

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Dearborn, Mich. - Ford plans to phase in a price reduction on its

Ford Sync

option and make it available on base models for the first time beginning with select 2012-model-year vehicles.

The price cut and availability on base models will be expanded to all Ford vehicles over the next three years.

 Ford Sync features hands-free, voice-activated calling via Bluetooth-connected cellphones; voice control of USB-connected music plays, including iPods; a free automated emergency calling service; and on-demand diagnostic and maintenance information service.

Sync users also have the option to purchase Sync Services to add $60/month Cloud-based services such as turn-by-turn directions, traffic reports, and business search information with available live operator assistance if needed.

 Beginning with the 2012 Ford Explorer and Edge, Sync will be available for the first time on the base trim levels, and the option price goes to $295 from the previous $395. In the 2013 model year, the program will be extended to the Ford Taurus, Focus, Escape and Flex. On select trim levels of vehicles, Sync remains standard equipment.

 Ford contended that more than 76 percent of current Sync users would recommend the system to other customers, although that percentage might not extend to Sync users whose vehicles are equipped with the company's

MyFord Touch

user interface. The interface has received criticism from some consumers who find it hard to get accustomed to.

Ford also said its research shows more than 85 percent of Sync users say they use voice controls while driving, up from 60 percent in previous studies.

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