• May 28, 2009
One Millionth SYNC: Click above to view the high-res gallery

Ford and SYNC have combined to be the peanut butter and jelly of automotive tech combo deals. 80% of the vehicles Ford sells now has the infotainment system, helping the Blue Oval and Microsoft reach 1 million sales of the infotainment system in less than two years.

Since Microsoft created the SYNC software, it has just as much reason to celebrate its success as Ford. Microsoft CEO and Detroit native Steve Ballmer decided the best way to celebrate was to get his hands on SYNC vehicle number 1 million; a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. The 41 mpg sedan was delivered by none other than Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

Mulally reiterated his support of SYNC, saying that Ford would "continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers' lifestyles." SYNC already interfaces with navigation and entertainment systems, and 911 Assist helps call emergency services in the event of an accident. SYNC will receive further updates this summer when it gains the ability to deliver traffic, directions and information services. Hit the jump to view the Ford press release, and check out the gallery below to see Mulally deliver a 2010 Fusion Hybrid to the Microsoft CEO.



[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

* SYNC hits million unit milestone; now offers 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports
* Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer takes delivery of a 2010 Fusion Hybrid, America's most fuel-efficient midsize car
* Purchase by Microsoft CEO underscores positive partnership of two powerhouse brands, Ford and Microsoft, joining forces to deliver affordable products consumers want

SEATTLE, May 26, 2009 – The popularity of Ford SYNC® reached a new milestone today, as Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally delivered Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer his new 2010 Fusion Hybrid equipped with the 1 millionth SYNC system, which is powered by Microsoft Auto software.

"We have made a commitment to deliver the vehicles that people really want and value," Mulally said. "The success of SYNC is another proof point that we are doing just that. We will continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers' lifestyles."

SYNC is Ford's fully integrated, voice-activated, in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players. Since its debut in 2007 on the Ford Focus, SYNC has continued to gain in popularity. More than 80 percent of the vehicles Ford sells in North America are equipped with the system.

Like other advanced hardware and software solutions, SYNC continues to expand its applications. In 2008, SYNC was upgraded with two new applications, Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™, and more are on the way.

Ford's latest SYNC application, Traffic, Directions and Information, will be available for download this summer. It will provide simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports scores and weather.

"Working with Microsoft and other key technology partners, we've made Ford the connectivity leader in the auto industry," said Jim Buczkowski, director of electrical and electronic systems. "We do not plan to stand still; we have several additional developments in the pipeline, including launching SYNC in Europe and around the world."

The 1 millionth SYNC equipped vehicle, a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, is only fitting, because the all-new sedan is the new benchmark in midsized sedans. The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient midsize car in America, with a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why didn't they make a full blown PR package out of this?

      Two American companies celebrating the success of a modern system. Not to mention the only non bail-out automaker is delivering a car that recently went 2400 km on a single tank. cut to that. Show some SYNC in action, show it in all the top ford models, include European models that are coming to the US. Talk about Microsoft, boost the PC image. 1 Million cars on the road today are PCs if you consider a Microsoft OS to be the factor.

      Imagine all this with top gear style footage, wicked 3d graphics where appropriate, a bit of crazy Steve Ballmer, a lighthearted spiel from Mulally, and a website at the end.

      I think they could have done better than a text press release.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does Mulally think he's coaching the Ohio State football team?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ya know, before all Apple fanbois come on making fun of Ballmer, I want to point out one thing.

      Seeing how rich he is, he still buys Ford cars, as his father was an old Detroit hand. That's some loyalty.

      How many ABers can say that?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You don't need to be an Apple fan to make fun of Ballmer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      His enthusiasm waned the moment he realized that this was a hybrid and not the "hopes and dream"-powered car that he was promised along with a working version of Vista.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This can be interpreted in an interesting manner... :)

      Even Microsoft waits till the software is in later versions to "buy in" and use it themselves. ;-)

      How come they didn't get the first one. :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Haha! My BMW 520d makes more than 41 mpg :))) These people are idiots... Ford? Ford???? Never :))))
      • 5 Years Ago
      Steve Ballmer is a creepy looking man. Still, it's nice to see Ford hanging in there, though I won't get one until I can be sure the quality is there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      SYNC! SYNC! SYNC! SYNC! SYNC!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was hoping someone would say it! I'm picturing Steve jumping up and down around Mulally while screaming in fits of joy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Of course, we wouldn't have the SYNC technology without

        DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!
      • 5 Years Ago
      As stated before, the only thing I appreciate Ballmer for is sticking to domestic automakers. I really don't like him as the CEO of M$FT, but I do think SYNC is very cool and works quite well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My parents love their car with Sync. They say they will never buy any car again unless it has Sync. It is incredibly simple to use and useful. Especially for 2010 model year cars which will not need a navigation system to tell traffic.

      P.S. I convinced a friend yesterday who was considering buying a Lexus IS 250 AWD to test drive a 2010 Fusion Sport. He was so excited about it all that he said he think he wants to get it. Its cheaper than the Lexus and has way more technology and the quality appeared to be great. What is funny is that I been in a 2008 IS and the Fusion's material is eerily similar in appearance and touch in a lot of places especially the dash. I think Ford is on to something by firing all the losers that were bringing them down. And just think, in about 2 years almost every Ford automobile will be able to park itself.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is Balmer really always like... that?

        • 5 Years Ago
        Sadly, yes. If you think he's bad in front of a crowd, try working for him and his senior "leadership" team....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes.
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