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Posts Tagged ‘MyLincolnTouch’

Ford Produces 10 Millionth Sync-Equipped Vehicle

Technology draws in new buyers – but also creates headaches for Detroit maker.

by on Nov.27, 2013

Ford's latest Sync update permits th maker to draw a number of smartphone apps into the vehicle, including the Pandora music service.

Depending upon your point of view about in-car technology, the announcement from Ford could be seen as good news or bad news – or perhaps a little bit of both.

The maker this month produced its 10 millionth vehicle equipped with the Sync infotainment system.  That’s just six years after Ford first rolled out the technology developed in cooperation with tech giant Microsoft.

“SYNC has helped us to think and act more like a technology company,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service. “It has forever changed how we look at our business and how we respond to our customers.”

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Since its introduction, Sync has fostered some major changes in the auto industry and there’s not a brand to be found today that isn’t offering at least a basic in-car infotainment system. But while Ford claims Sync – and the MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch infotainment systems – have drawn plenty of young, tech-savvy buyers into the brand’s showrooms, the technology has also created plenty of headaches for owners and for Ford which has seen its quality ratings tumble, in large parts due to problems with its infotainment systems.


Learning to Use a New Electronic Gizmo? Ask a Kid

GM hires group of specialists to teach dealers, car buyers how to use infotainment systems.

by on Nov.27, 2012

Cadillac calls its new infotainment system the Cadillac User Experience or CUE. Here, it's shown in the 2013 Cadillac XTS.

Everyone knows that if you need to learn how to use a new electronic toy, talk to a young person.

General Motors has obviously heard that advice, so it’s hired a group of young, tech-savvy people to serve as connected customer specialists to train GM dealers and support vehicle owners trying to learn its new infotainment systems.

Youthful and Connected!

After watching Ford’s missteps with its own MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch, GM is trying to avoid some of the same mistakes. But can young tech geeks teach car buyers new tricks?

Ford Forwarding Fix for MyFordTouch System

Technology problems led to sharp slump in quality ranking.

by on Nov.07, 2011

The new fixes should make the MyFordTouch system faster and easier to use.

A quarter-million U.S. motorists will be getting an envelope in the mail from Ford Motor Co. early next year.  Inside they’ll find a small flash drive that the maker says will fix problems owners have been reporting with vehicles equipped with the MrFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch infotainment systems.

Ford has been one of the most aggressive makers in the industry when it comes to rolling out the latest in-car technologies.  It’s helped draw in customers who might have otherwise steered away from the domestic brand – but flaws with the latest MyTouch systems have also resulted in serious customer frustration which, in turn, has hammered Ford’s quality rankings.

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Ford plunged from 10th to 20th place in the latest Consumer Reports Reliability Index, while also taking a tumble in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey..

The fix?  A free software upgrade.


First Drive: Lincoln MKX

MKX is good, but it doesn't stand out compared to Ford Edge.

by on Sep.02, 2011

Lincoln's MKX crossover was refreshed for 2011.

Ford has gone on record to say that it knows its Lincoln brand needs to step up its game. So what’s wrong? This MKX crossover offers a good chance to examine some of the issues.

The MKX is the Lincoln version of the Ford Edge. Both vehicles were freshened for 2011 with mildly updated styling and small revisions to everything from the engine to the aerodynamic aids. But the biggest change was the addition of MyLincolnTouch, a new graphic user interface that works with Ford’s groundbreaking Sync voice control system.

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The MKX’s relationship to the Ford version is evident immediately. While some Lincolns, such as the MKZ and MKT, get unique shapes compared to their Ford counterparts, the MKX and Edge differ mostly in front and rear-end treatments. Other automakers – such as Toyota which builds its Highlander and Lexus RX350 on same platform, for example – do a better job differentiating their luxury vehicles from the garden-variety ones.

Lincoln has at least established a good start on the styling front. The split-wing grille design is unique, yet it also looks back on Lincoln history.

But beyond the special grille, Lincoln’s styling isn’t expressive or cohesive enough. The MKX literally looks like an Edge with the fancy grille and some extra bright work throughout the rest of the vehicle.


Slammed By Quality Concerns, Ford Struggles to Fix MyTouch

Maker committed to staying on the bleeding edge of technology, says CEO Mulally.

by on Jul.27, 2011

A Touch of the devil? Problems with the MyFordTouch system hurt the maker's overall quality score.

Though complaints about the infotainment system hammered Ford’s standing in the much-watched J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, the Detroit maker isn’t giving up on its “MyTouch Ford” connectivity system but is working on ways to make it more user-friendly, CEO Alan Mulally says.

Ford, which was the top-ranked mainstream brand in the 2010 IQS slipped to a below-average ranking in the 2011 study, Power analysts saying that complaints about MyFordTouch were the primary reason.  But the infotainment technology has taken other hits from such influential sources as Consumer Reports magazine, which pulled several Ford and Lincoln models using the system off its recommended buy list.

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Mulally said Ford is taking criticism of the system to heart and is working on series of changes. “We believe now that it didn’t have enough computational power,” Mulally told analysts during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

That translates into slow and sometimes inaccurate operation. The fix recommended by Ford’s trouble shooters is being applied right across the line and should help answer the customer complaints, claimed Mulally.


Ford Sync Adds Live Operators

Maker taking on GM’s OnStar with new Operator Assist service.

by on Jul.12, 2011

Among the many new features Ford is looking at for its Sync system, it is beta testing a live human link called Operator Assist.

When introducing its Sync infotainment system, several years ago, Ford Motor Co. boasted that after the initial cost for hardware, Sync was free to use.  But that’s about to change for those who choose to subscribe to the expanded Operator Assist service, which will directly challenge General Motors’ popular OnStar system.

The Operator Assist system is designed to make it easier for motorists to locate an address and then plug it into the Sync system without having to navigate onscreen menus or learn the necessary voice commands.  The new service, now undergoing beta tests with current Sync users, could also help soften criticism Ford has recently taken over the complexity of its latest in-car electronics, notably the MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch systems.

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“Ford is committed to continuously improving the ownership experience and delivering the level of connectivity that customers want,” said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization. “By leveraging what’s available in the cloud, we continue to innovate and improve our customers’ experience without having to touch the vehicle or inconvenience the owner.”


What Went Wrong With Ford Quality?

Maker boosts sales but takes a hit with “bleeding edge” technology.

by on Jun.24, 2011

A Touch of the devil? Problems with the MyFordTouch system hurt the maker's overall quality score.

Ford Motor Co. wants to function “more like a consumer electronics company,” CEO Alan Mulally has repeatedly stressed, something the maker is backing up with an array of in-car technologies that notably include the popular Sync infotainment system and the latest iteration, MyFordTouch.

The focus on what some call “bleeding edge” technology has paid off in many ways. Mulally, for one, has repeatedly keynoted the Consumer Electronic Show three times, an honor more traditionally granted the likes of a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. And Ford suggests that Sync has been a major factor in the buying decision for many customers, especially younger motorists who expect to be connected 24/7.

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But there’s a downside, as the maker was reminded this week.  Ford was pummeled in the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, a closely-followed measure of out-the-factory-door quality.  (Click Here for the full report on IQS.) Just a year ago, the maker shot to 5th place, topping rivals like Honda and Toyota to become the highest-ranked mainstream brand.  But this year, Ford plunged to 23rd, behind not only the major Japanese brands but long-time quality laggards like Chrysler and its Ram truck brand.

“Ford dropped notably last year,” said Dave Sargent, the head of global research for Power, the California-based market research firm, adding that, “If it weren’t for MyFordTouch, we wouldn’t be talking about Ford.”


Exec Says Journalists Need More Training on MyLincolnTouch

"The customers are happy," he says.

by on Jan.10, 2011

A Lincoln executive says media criticisms of MyLincolnTouch could be solved with additional training of journalists.

Criticisms of MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch, Ford’s revolutionary new graphical interface for Sync, could be solved by providing additional training, a Lincoln marketing executive said Sunday.

C.J. O’Donnell, group marketing manager for Lincoln, said that customer response to the system has been overwhelmingly positive.

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MyFordTouch is the latest update to Ford’s groundbreaking Sync system. Ford expanded the system’s vocabulary of accepted commands and added multiple customizable screens, including a touch-sensitive screen in the center console that operates everything from climate control to navigation.

But several journalists have panned the system. Consumer Reports (subscription required) removed the Lincoln MKX and Ford Edge from its recommended lists simply because of the new system. The magazine called the system too complicated and more difficult to use than traditional knobs and buttons. Car and Driver has also criticized the system because its too complicated and the touch-screen “buttons” are too small.


Ford’s MyTouch Takes Fire From Consumer Reports

“Overly complicated and distracting,” magazine pulls recommendation from two Ford models.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Consumer Reports berates the MyFordTouch system as "overly complicated."

It has frequently been hailed as one of the most significant new technologies to show up inside an automobile, but Ford Motor Co.’s new touch-screen MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch systems are taking fire from the influential Consumer Reports magazine.

The non-profit publication – which has given kudos to Ford’s steady increase in quality – has declared the two touch-screen systems “overly complicated and distracting.”  In turn, Consumer Reports has decided not to give a much-coveted recommendation to two new Ford products, the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers using the MyTouch technology.

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The Ford MyTouch technology is designed to control a wide range of infotainment systems, from onboard route guidance to handsfree phoning.  Ford has billed the system as an easy-to-use alternative, ironically, to some of the more complex controller-based infotainment systems, such as the BMW iDrive.

Ford’s system actually offers three different ways to control in-vehicle electronics, which the maker claims permits a motorist to use whichever they find the simplest and easiest: a large touch screen at the top of the center console, a pair of five-way controllers on the steering wheel – or voice-activated controls.


First drive: Lincoln MKS EcoBoost

EcoBoost is wonderful, but Lincoln's flagship sedan needs new infotainment interface.

by on Nov.11, 2010

The Lincoln MKS has a rather conservative design, but the performance of it's optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 is anything but conservative.

Here’s the problem with the Lincoln MKS, as it stands for 2011. The Ford Edge/Lincoln MKZ twins.

Yes, the MKS’ new EcoBoost engine is awesome, providing an extra 82 horsepower over the standard 3.7-liter V-6 with better fuel economy to boot. But the rest of the car is largely unchanged.

This year, Ford is introducing MyFordTouch – MyLincolnTouch in Lincolns – a new graphical interface for the automaker’s Sync infotainment system. First to get the new system are the Edge and MKX corssovers.

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Instead of the slick soft-touch buttons or optional touch screen system, the MKS, Lincoln’s flagship car, soldiers on with Ford’s old-style center console, old-tech instrument panel and antiquated steering wheel design.