Chrysler Group to lead electronics race after mishaps form Ford and GM

Article by Anita Panait, on November 23, 2012

Chrysler Group LLC seems to be gaining headway as a leader in touch screen technology by letting rivals General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. take the more active roles and stagger. For instance, Ford’s touch screen system, which manages a variety of tasks like entertainment via Pandora Internet radio, reading text messages and mapping out directions, is one of the main reasons why the carmaker had a humbler score in the quality surveys by Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates.

Ford even said in October that it expects to go amiss with quality metrics for a second straight year. GM, meanwhile, drew negative reviews from Consumer Reports for its touch screen system for its Cadillac brand. Chrysler, on the other hand, has been sticking with its Uconnect system, which is much simpler than the more advanced systems of its rivals. It is no wonder that in-car technology is becoming a quality benchmark as important as powertrains, design and interiors.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Jake Fisher, the director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center, said that they have seen a shift "in terms of what breaks," noting that electronics is becoming a factor in vehicle quality like transmissions and engines. Consumer Reports has been regarded as credible since it skirts advertising and purchases the vehicles it tests.

On Aug. 22, 2012, Consumer Reports published an article on its Web site titled, "Why the MyFord Touch control system stinks." Due to issues with electronics, the Ford brand dropped seven spots to second-to-last place in the magazine's auto-reliability survey published in October. Ford’s luxury brand, Lincoln, dropped 12 spots. Ford chairman Bill Ford said that since the carmaker wants to be a leader in technology, they are having “a few growing pains," adding that customers are telling the company that it is the right way to go.

Topics: chrysler, ford, gm

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