AutoTrader.com Shoppers Choose Ford For Innovation

by Don Elliott on February 15, 2012

In a December survey, AutoTrader.com asked shoppers which automaker was the most innovative. Ford was overwhelmingly chosen number one taking 38% of the votes. In its January 10, 2012 press release, Autotrader.com cited BMW as the number two innovation leader capturing 19% and Toyota third with 13%.

Innovation can mean different things to car shoppers. It is the overall perception of innovation that won this contest. For today’s cars, the most innovative car manufacturers need to have creative styling, innovative technology, and great fuel economy. Ford has hit a home run in all three areas.

AutoTrader.com experts weighed in on why Ford was chosen for innovative leadership in the eyes of shoppers on their site.

  1. Sync – “This is a voice activated, driver interface with the car that uses text-to-speech technology. It enables a driver to access and control an iPod, make and receive phone calls, and even use third-party apps via Bluetooth (like Pandora)—all by voice control. When there is a connected iPod, the driver (or other vehicle occupant) can use a string of commands to hear a specific song, artist, album, or even genre of music. Sync also allows basic turn-by-turn navigation, even in cars that don’t have a built-in, screen based navigation system. The really amazing thing about Sync is that it is not expensive – many cars come with it as standard, but adding it often costs only around $400.”
  2. Hybrid and Electric Vehicles – “The Ford Fusion is one of the best hybrid sedans available,” according to AutoTrader.com’s experts. “It gets better than 40 mpg but doesn’t feel slow or underpowered. The new Fusion, making its debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will get better than 45 miles per gallon. Also, the Ford Focus Electric will soon be available. It uses zero gasoline and charges its battery in about half the time as other pure electric EVs.”
  3. MyFordTouch – “This technology was introduced in January of 2010 and was first implemented in the 2011 Ford Edge. MyFordTouch uses a touch screen to control and access various in-car features such as navigation, satellite radio, climate control, and wirelessly connected phones. The technology also includes a media hub with two USB inputs, RCA style jacks, and an SD card slot. MyFordTouch also allows the vehicle to be turned into a WiFi hotspot, although owners will need their own USB modem or smartphone with tethering.”
  4. EcoBoost – “This is Ford’s brand name for a line of turbocharged engines. The best example is Ford using an EcoBoost V6 in the F-150 and some SUVs instead of a V8. By using turbocharging, Ford can put a smaller engine in a truck or SUV, giving it excellent fuel economy but with the kind of horsepower buyers expect from full-size trucks and SUVs.”
  5. MyKey – “Ford’s MyKey Technology allows a vehicle owner to have a master key that controls certain vehicle parameters. For example, a master key user can set a speed chime or lower the vehicle’s top speed. When MyKey is engaged, the fasten seat belt chime will never time out unless the seat belt is fastened and the radio is muted until the seatbelt is fastened. MyKey also lowers the overall radio volume, and certain Sirius satellite radio stations can be blocked.”

Innovation is another word for used car value. When shoppers perceive that one car has better perceived value, in this case innovation, that car is worth more than a similar car by a different manufacturer. Great job, Ford!

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