Ford to balance MyFord Touch with oldfashioned knobs in future cars

While Ford's MyFord Touch is a popular option for tech-savvy drivers, it's not always the most intuitive -- some complain that basic tasks, like radio tuning, are relatively awkward. The company is very aware of the feedback, as it's now supplementing the touch controls with "traditional" buttons and knobs. Both the latest F-150 and future vehicles will reflect the hybrid approach. Ford is still giving touchscreens some love with a MyFord Touch update due this summer, but it's clear that the company will keep one foot in the analog world for a while longer.

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SYNC and MyFord Touch Sold on 79 Percent of New Ford Vehicles, New Technology Drives Quality Satisfaction

* SYNC® and MyFord Touch® sold on nearly 80 percent of 2013 Ford vehicles, double the sales mix of infotainment systems sold with Toyota and Honda vehicles, and up from 68 percent in 2012; MyFord Touch mix of 55 percent increased from 12 percent in 2012
* Customers with vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch have a higher rate of satisfaction with overall vehicle quality for most models compared to those that do not have the advanced infotainment system
* Ford customers cite voice command and touch screen features as top purchase drivers much more often than competitors; Ford Escape owners prioritize them twice as much as the segment average
* Ford improves MyFord Touch quality by more than 50 percent since launch, plans another upgrade in summer 2013

DEARBORN, Mich., June 17, 2013 – Ford SYNC® voice-controlled connectivity and MyFord Touch® touch screen technologies are attracting more customers and selling at a much higher rate than competitors, as MyFord Touch helps drive higher customer satisfaction with vehicle quality.

Combined, SYNC and MyFord Touch are sold on 79 percent of new 2013 Ford vehicles, double the rate of Toyota and Honda vehicle infotainment systems and up from 68 percent in 2012. This includes a MyFord Touch mix of 55 percent from 12 percent in 2012.

SYNC and MyFord Touch connectivity technologies – launched in 2007 and 2010, respectively – remain a competitive advantage as customers cite voice control and touch screens as top purchase drivers much more often than competitors. For example, 53 percent of 2013 Ford Escape owners say the touch screen is a top purchase reason compared to a 22 percent segment average.

"Ford has launched 60 new technologies the past few years and they are helping attract many new customers in important markets such as the coasts," says Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. "SYNC and MyFord Touch are key parts of our innovation strategy, and not only bring more new customers to our brand, but help deliver higher satisfaction with overall vehicle quality."

Ford vehicles with MyFord Touch are helping improve perceptions as customers who own vehicles with the system are more satisfied with overall vehicle quality compared to those who don't have the technology. The Ford F-150 with MyFord Touch has the highest rate of quality satisfaction across the Ford lineup, at 86 percent.

F-150 blends touch screen capability with traditional buttons and knobs, a similar balance planned for future Ford vehicles.

Young buyer connections

The innovations also are attracting younger buyers. For example, the new 2014 Ford Fiesta will now offer MyFord Touch, adding to other features such as a navigation system, rear camera, leather seats and a sunroof not available in the segment.

Fiesta already is drawing a younger audience of 46 percent Gen Y and Gen X buyers, compared to Toyota and Scion's 36 percent subcompact average. Fiesta innovations are differentiating the car as SYNC is cited as an important purchase reason by 54 percent of buyers compared to a 37 percent average for Toyota's connectivity technology.

Quality progress

Ford continues to refine SYNC and MyFord Touch, including another downloadable upgrade planned for this summer. Previous upgrades already have helped improve quality responses by more than 50 percent.

"We are committed to listening to our customers and improving MyFord Touch to keep drawing in new customers and increasing satisfaction with even higher quality," says Nair.

Ford's dealership personnel and dedicated connectivity customer service line also have become competitive advantages in an era of new automotive technologies. Customers who seek dealership assistance with SYNC or MyFord Touch report a 91 percent satisfaction rate.

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Future Ford cars to balance MyFord Touch with old-fashioned buttons