• Sep 26, 2007
Today Ford announced that it will join BMW as one of the few automakers offering HD Radio in its cars. Whereas BMW offers the high-def device on just a few of its cars, Ford is jumping in with both feet and offering it in most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models for 2008, though declined to mention which models would go without. HD Radio can also be retrofitted to most 2005, 2006 and 2007 FoMoCo models as well, since it's a dealer-installed option.
Unlike Satellite Radio, HD Radio is free. You just need a receiver, and there are currently more than 1,500 radio stations in the U.S. broadcasting in HD. Along with better sound quality, HD Radio also allows more additional data to be sent through the airwaves, like text and even additional channels called HD2 multicasts stations that piggyback regular HD channels. Unfortunately, Ford didn't reveal pricing in its press release, which can be read after the jump.

[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

FORD TO MAKE HD DIGITAL RADIO AVAILABLE ACROSS NEARLY ALL PRODUCT LINES
  • Dealer-installed option available nationwide on nearly every 2008 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle
  • HD Digital Radio™ can be installed on most currently-owned vehicles built in model years 2005, 2006 and 2007
  • Ford's high-definition radio strategy builds on company's effort to be among the industry's leaders in delivering new automotive entertainment technologies
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept., 26, 2007 – Ford Motor Co. today became the first automaker to offer HD Digital Radio across multiple product lines. The dealer-installed high-definition radio option is now available nationwide on nearly all 2008 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Additionally, HD Digital Radio can be installed on many earlier models from 2005, 2006 and 2007. As with SYNC, the extensive availability of HD Digital Radio furthers the company's ongoing efforts to deliver new entertainment technologies to automotive consumers.

"We believe HD Digital Radio will be an important part of Ford's commitment to delivering innovations with mass appeal," said Kim Irwin, Vehicle Personalization and Accessories manager for Ford's Customer Service Division. "We're helping our customers stay connected by supporting the features and functions they want in their vehicles. The dramatically improved audio, text and data features of HD Digital Radio – along with its hundreds of new radio stations – create a compelling combination at the right price."

HD Digital Radio dramatically increases the sound quality of radio broadcasts and enables more than one radio broadcast on a single channel. As a result, consumers hear a wide range of new HD2 multicast stations as well as their favorite radio stations in crystal clear digital sound with no monthly subscription fee. More than 1500 radio stations in the U.S. currently broadcast in HD digital sound, with more than 600 stations also airing HD2 multicasts.

HD Radio joins other new technologies – including SYNC – being offered in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles to make driving more enjoyable and convenient than ever before. Beginning immediately, HD Digital Radio will be available as a dealer-installed option on new, pre-owned and currently-owned vehicles. Price points will vary by dealership but, as always, HD Radio broadcasts carry no monthly subscription fee.

"Drivers have always had a love affair with their car radios," added Irwin. "HD Radio offers our dealers a triple threat: It differentiates their offerings from other brands; it lets them upgrade customer entertainment systems in a unique way; and it lets buyers of recent pre-owned vehicles as well as current vehicle owners share completely in the benefits. This is the kind of program that our dealers love to see."

To support the launch, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers will benefit from an aggressive, multi-million-dollar, 13-week, on-air radio marketing campaign in partnership with the HD Digital Radio Alliance. The commercials will air in 100 markets over some 700 radio stations beginning on September 26, 2007.

"In all of our discussions with auto makers, Ford has consistently demonstrated both the will and the resolve to be industry leaders in this arena," said Peter Ferrara, president and CEO of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "Now that HD Radio is broadcasting across hundreds of local stations nationwide, partners who move early will gain the biggest advantage."

The HD Digital Radio Alliance is a joint initiative of leading radio broadcasters to accelerate the successful rollout of HD Digital Radio. Current members include major radio groups and independent station owners: Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting / ABC Radio, Clear Channel Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media and WBEB Philadelphia. For more information on HD Digital Radio, visit www.hdradio.com.


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  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a great addition to their services. Adding technology such as this will make their cars, brand, and ford parts more marketable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Given the reasonable price for Ford's sync, i'm going to assume that they are not going to gouge the buyer for an HD radio.

      IMHO i would rather HD over satellite. I really don't like having to pay a monthly fee for things. nine time out of ten i'm listening to my ipod, but on that other 10% of the time, i sure wouldn't mind some HD. Also here in the Philly area, HD is pretty comprehensive in its offerings.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "...i'm going to assume that they are not going to gouge the buyer for an HD radio."

        HD Radio will be a dealer-installed accessory, not a factory-installed option, so your assumption isn't a good one.
      cesce3
      • 3 Years Ago
      dftuhgyk
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't like the radio.
      There never seems to be anything on it for me.

      So if I buy a new Ford product could I delete the radio and use the savings for pin-stripes?
      • 7 Years Ago
      so long as the knobs stay on, this is a good, but is the cost difference in radios that large that they couldnt put it standard in all ford, merc. ect. as incentive?
      also there a large want for HD radio? everyone seems to want sat. over HD no? maybe i'm wrong...
        • 7 Years Ago
        thanks..i never thought of them used together, didnt for a minute think of that.
        me and my stupid old analog radio. its like records, i used to think who need cd's my LPs sound great until i heard a cd and was wow'd
        one day i will get HD and say damn, should have got this sooner.

        • 7 Years Ago
        It's really a nice compliment to satellite, because you can get local shows in HD that aren't carried over satellite providers. In my area, for example, you can get WFAN (the NY sports talk station) in HD. it sounds MUCH better than comparable talk on satellite. As you might imagine, music on HD radio is great-sounding, too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why is AutoBlog calling HD Radio "High-Def?" The HD in HD Radio stands for Hybrid Digital. It does NOT stand for High Definition.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I feel the need to point out the obvious:

      Headline: "Ford offering HD Radio on all models"
      Excerpt from body: "...offering it in most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models..."
      And for the record:
      Excerpt from press release: "Dealer-installed option available nationwide on nearly every 2008 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle"
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm always suprised by how long it takes auto makers to add technology like this into cars. This would be great because I don't really want to pay monthly subscription for satellite and I can still get my normal radio stations digitally.
      • 7 Years Ago
      HD Radio + Free = Crappy programming and too many commercials.

      The reasons I switched to satellite were better programming and no commercials. I was tired of driving to work and hearing 2 songs over 30 minutes. FM radio is driven by marketing, not content. They play the same songs over and over and over. Where is the variety? Sound quality was irrelevant in my decision to switch. I'm in my car. I'm not expecting perfect quality.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've heard commercials on some channels, like the comedy channels and sports, but not on the music-only channels.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well my XM sure has commercials. I hate the idea I pay for the radio and still am forced to listen to commercials.

        Of course my cable TV also forces me to listen to commercials all the time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the stations are owned by ClearChannel, expect amazingly clearer versions of... the same tripe that currently clogs FM stations.
      • 7 Years Ago
      now all they need to do is make their vehicles super quiet so they can actually hear that hd difference....
      cesce3
      • 3 Years Ago
      fjhfkhj
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