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Ford hides tech offshore

Ford hides tech offshore

In the United States, Ford hasn't been known for the technology it puts in its cars. But in London, on the way over to Frankfurt, I saw advertisements for a Ford Focus with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone integration. At the Frankfurt Auto Show, I snooped around the Ford floor area, past the people crowding around the Iosis concept car, to the Focus, the Fiesta, and the Fusion. The Focus has been a very popular economy car for Ford in the United States. The Fiesta had its day in the states as well, though it is mostly a joke now. The Fusion is a boxy little hauler, looking like a Scion xB as designed by Jeep. All these cars incorporate tech we would expect to see in an Acura, such as Bluetooth and audio integration. These cars are designed for young, first-time buyers, and a representative from Ford Europe told me that in this market, technology is essential. Further, Ford is working on advancing its in-cabin tech to include personalization features, a number of settings that can be adjusted to fit an individual's tastes via the car's LCD.

Although Bluetooth phones haven't taken the States by storm, the iPod is extremely popular, so I wonder why Ford keeps its tech so low in its home market. Maybe Ford doesn't want to sully its tough truck image with elitest technology, but people interested in buying a Focus probably wouldn't upgrade to a truck and might appreciate some of the niceties offered overseas.