We stumbled on an Edmunds blog from last month that mentioned that 94 percent of buyers of the 2011 Ford Explorer buy the Sync radio option! And shoppers opt for the Sync 83 percent of the time on the 2011 Ford Edge.
But the Edmunds story asks if the Ford Sync has lost its mojo. Why? Because Toyota and others may match or surpass the Sync. And Ford may have faltered by making MyFord Touch with Sync a little too complex for some to operate.
Toyota plans to offer the Entune in some models later this year. The Prius will be one of the first cars to get it. Entune gives you Pandora, iheartradio, Bing Maps and Bing search plus other apps like OpenTable for making reservations. And it reads aloud your text messages. And Entune allows automatic over-the-air software updates. The Sync requires the user to actively update the system or bring it to the dealer.
Then you’ve got Audi’s “Google Car” starting to rolling out next month. So Ford could get some serious competition in electronics this year.
Also, you may remember that the recent MyFord Touch with Sync system wasn’t exactly welcomed by Consumer Reports, which removed the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX from its recommended list because of the complexity of the radio/control system.
So Edmunds implies that it’s one thing to get a hit in consumer electronics, but it’s another thing to maintain your lead.
Then again, we assume Ford has more tricks up its sleeve and it has a 3 or 4 year head start over its competitors in advanced radios. And don’t forget that 94 percent take rate on the Explorer.