Ford CEO Mulally Looks to Sync With High-Tech Crowd in Vegas
Will deliver keynote address at Consumer Electronics Show
Smart move on Ford's part: After receiving some well-deserved press about the new Taurus -- the first memorable design in awhile under that name -- Ford is now switching gears and pointing to the technological bells and whistles inside that car, and inside about 70 percent of new Ford models, collectively known as the Sync infotainment system.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, is a fitting place for Ford CEO Alan Mulally to regain some focus on the Sync system, especially because, as smart-phone makers have recently found, sometimes it's less about the casing and more about the clever applications found inside; think of the Sync as collection of proprietary in-car "apps" used to move cars off lots and into the driveways of the tech-obsessed in the same way the iPhone hooks the same crowd with everything from a remote-control app to one that will pluck song information right off the radio.
When you consider that Mulally will be talking about docking capabilities for mobile devices, voice activation, traffic, weather and business upgrades or innovations, it's not that far-fetched a concept. Chrysler does the same with its myGIG system (though only with a handful of models), Mercedes is upping the in-car tech ante in a big way with its C-Class models, and Delphi has its systems in certain Cadillacs. How long before we're debating GPS and Bluetooth specs over horsepower and top speed? For midmarket sedans that split the difference between performance and luxury, like the Taurus, the Honda Accord and the Nissan Altima, it could be sooner than one would expect.
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