Ford Motor Co. will introduce its MyFord Touch infotainment system to its offerings in Europe beginning 2014. MyFord Touch will first be installed in an S-Max concept van that will be showcased at the Frankfurt auto show, according to Jim Buczkowski, director of Ford's electronics and electrical systems engineering and research.
Buczkowski remarked that MyFord Touch will eventually be available in its vehicle lineup in Europe. Although MyFord Touch has helped the carmaker hike its profits, surveys by Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates has criticized the infotainment system for the unreliability of controls, small fonts, crowded screens and lack of buttons and knobs.
Buczkowski, however, said that Ford has made huge improvements on the system and has “learned a lot along the way." He remarked that customer feedback -- both positive and negative -- has been really important as well as the things that they failed to “explain very well for customers."
MyFord Touch was a factor in Ford’s plunge in rankings in quality survey like J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study, which latest index this year had the brand drop to 27th from fifth in 2010. No thanks to MyFord Touch, Ford finished second-to-last in Consumer Reports' annual auto-reliability survey in October 2012. Buczkowski disclosed that MyFord Touch will be offered an option or included as standard in premium packages in Europe-bound models. Ford usually charges around $1,000 for MyFord Touch in the United States.
Ford already offers a voice-command software system called Sync on some vehicles in Europe as part of an audio package. Ford offers Sync as an option in the US for $295.According to Buczkowski, the carmaker will market Sync and MyFord Touch just like it does in the US. A technology package that only offers Sync and Applink will be available in the Ford Fiesta and the EcoSport. Another technology package will offer both Sync and MyFord Touch. [source: Bloomberg]