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Ford Sync Compatibility Comes To Kenwood A/V Nav Units

Long Beach, Calif. – Kenwood’s five A/V navigation systems can now be installed in Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles equipped with Ford’s Sync system without losing Sync features.

The five head units are the only aftermarket head units compatible with a $169-suggested iData Link Maestro RR OEM-integration module just shipped by Canada-based Automotive Data Solutions (ADS). The module integrates with the data busses of specific car models via vehicle-specific firmware downloads and T harnesses.

To promote Sync integration, Kenwood and ADS are targeting Ford Mustang and truck owners through targeted advertising on selected web forums, said to generate more than 100,000 impressions per month. The campaign begins in August.

Once the ADS module is installed with one of the five A/V nav systems, the Kenwood head unit provides touchscreen control of factory satellite radio and displays satellite metadata. The install also retains Sync’s voice control over such factory features as satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free, Bluetooth audio streaming, and connected media players plugged into the factory’s USB connection. The install also retains control of OEM features via the factory’s steering-wheel-mounted controls and enables the Kenwood units to display metadata from MP3 players connected to the factory USB port.

Keith Lehmann, senior VP of Kenwood’s consumer electronics sector, said the module will enable dealers to target the millions of Sync-equipped vehicles, many owners of which are dissatisfied with their factory Sync head units because they’re confusing to use, he said.