Beginning this summer, Ford Motor Co. will roll out Sync 3 to replace the MyFord Touch infotainment system. This means that the 2015 Ford Edge, which just went on sale last month, will already be outdated. Recently, Ford distributed a product guide to fleet customers, showing that the Sync 3 will be installed on the 2016 model year of the Edge as well as numerous other nameplates.
The other models in the lineup will get Sync 3 by the end of next year. Meanwhile, Ford dealerships would have to sell models with the out-of-date system, which can’t be changed at a later time. Those who would hold off on purchasing an Edge, Mustang or Escape and wait for the 2016 model units to arrive will get Sync 3. It’s likely that the unit will cost the same amount.
Tom Mutchler, a senior automotive engineer with Consumer Reports, has been a long-time critic of MyFord Touch. He said that this major change will make the car “considerably less frustrating." He suggests that consumers would probably wait a few months if they knew the improvements offered by sync 3.
This situation is bound to become more common as automakers are hastening to install the latest technologies on their instrument panels. Automakers lose sales to rivals if they wait to update their cars at the next natural break in its life cycle but if they add features as soon as they could, the current vehicles get dated more quickly.
Automakers typically sell outgoing generations by raising incentives and freebies. However, Ford won’t probably use incentives on this newly updated vehicle as it phases out MyFord Touch since most buyers don’t pay as much attention to in-car technology as they do to the latest table or iPhone even if they’ll own a vehicle for longer.
Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights for ALG, which measures vehicles' residual values, said that next to the steering wheel, the infotainment system is what the driver interacts with the most and is a “huge part” of the experience.
However, he doesn’t think that it’s a factor that defines the valuation. Lyman clarified that the residual values of Ford's 2016 vehicles with Sync 3 aren’t expected to be better than those in 2015 unless changes are also done to the design or styling.
Stephen Odell, the global sales and marketing chief of Ford, said that dramatic improvements have been done on MyFord Touch because its quality scores have decreased due to complaints about usability and glitches.
He believes that even if Sync 3 is on the way, dealers won’t have a difficult time of selling MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles. Since the MyFord Touch was launched in the 2011 Edge, sales of this system have exceeded 10 million.
In an interview, Odell said that these volumes show that people appreciate the benefits and don’t see these issues much. He added that there hasn’t been data to indicate that consumers have put off buying Ford units just to wait for Sync 3.
Nevertheless, many potential consumers have come out to say how disappointed they are that they’d have to get a new vehicle to upgrade to Sync 3.