In an effort to attract even more customers to its hands-free, in-car connectivity system, Ford has announced that it will reduce the price of SYNC by $100 starting with the 2012 model year. Along with trimming its cost to $295, the automaker also plans to expand SYNC availability to include base models and offer buyers the option of purchasing a subscription to its supplemental suite of cloud-based SYNC Services. The move comes as many other automakers are working on new and improved versions of their own in-car telematics packages, from GM's OnStar to Toyota's Entune.
The first two vehicles to benefit from this change in SYNC marketing strategy will be the 2012 Ford Edge and Ford Explorer. In the Edge, SYNC will become a new option for the base SE and move from optional to standard in the SEL. For the 2013 model year, the availability of SYNC in base models will be extended to the Ford Taurus, Focus, Escape and Flex. Within the next three years, it will be broadened to encompass all of Ford's North American product lines. Since being introduced in 2007, the groundbreaking SYNC system has been installed in over three million Ford Motor Company vehicles. It's proven particularly popular with Edge and Explorer buyers, where take rates are already in excess of 80 percent. Ford anticipates this new price/availability strategy will raise that figure beyond the 95-percent mark.
"As the list of states banning hand-held calls and texting while driving continues to grow and legislators ponder a nationwide ban, Ford is strengthening its leadership position as the only full-line automaker with plans to offer available hands-free mobile device connectivity on 100 percent of its passenger vehicle lineup," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.