SYNC retrofit kit now available for 2008 Navigator, Mustang next

When Ford launched its new SYNC in-car communications system in the Ford Focus, the crew in Dearborn may not have known just how popular the option would prove to be. While the SYNC system has started to infiltrate the rest of the Blue Oval line, its integration is apparently not moving fast enough for many consumers. Doug White, Vehicle Personalization Marketing & Planning manager at Ford says, "Customers and dealers were telling us that we needed SYNC on our flagship SUV and we felt we needed to respond to those concerns as quickly as we could. They essentially said, 'If you have it on Focus, why not Navigator.'" Sounds pretty reasonable to us. Considering that the Lincoln Navigator is the flagship product for Ford's up-market brand, it should be available with all the best techno-goodies available in the Ford arsenal.

The retrofit kit is now a dealer-installed option for all 2008 model year Navigator and Navigator L models built after December 4, 2007. According to the press release, pasted after the break, the vehicle must have been factory equipped with the voice-activated navigation system and DVD entertainment system, included with the Elite Package. The integration is reportedly rather straightforward and uses the steering wheel buttons and works the same as other SYNC systems. The price? Just $550, making it seem a rather no-brainer as far as we're concerned. Next in line for a SYNC accessory kit will be the Mustang.

[Source: Lincoln]

2008 Navigator Owners Can Now SYNC Their Rides

- With a dealer-installed SYNC accessory kit, select 2008 Lincoln Navigator and Navigator L customers can enjoy the award-winning SYNC in-car communications system.
- The SYNC retrofit kit costs under $550 installed. The add-on system is fully integrated, functional and upgradeable to support future SYNC features and functions.
- More than 100,000 SYNC-equipped vehicles are on the road today, and Ford SYNC(TM) is on track to reach 1 million sales in early 2009.

DEARBORN, Mich., May 1 Lincoln Navigator owners wishing they had Ford's industry-exclusive SYNC in-vehicle communications system, need wish no more.

Ford (NYSE: F - News) has introduced an affordable, dealer-installed SYNC accessory kit that allows select 2008 Navigator and Navigator L customers to enjoy the award-winning voice-activated communications system that works with most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players.

Ford first introduced the Microsoft-powered SYNC system on the 2008 Ford Focus. And 11 other 2008MY products soon followed, including the Ford Edge, Taurus, and the Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKZ. As part of Ford's aggressive migration plan, SYNC will be offered on nearly every 2009MY Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle.

"The company's decision to offer the custom SYNC accessory retrofit kit first on Navigator wasn't casual," says Doug White, Vehicle Personalization Marketing & Planning manager, who adds that original migration plans were to add SYNC to the luxury SUV for the 2009 model year. "Customers and dealers were telling us that we needed SYNC on our flagship SUV and we felt we needed to respond to those concerns as quickly as we could," says White. "They essentially said, 'If you have it on Focus, why not Navigator.'"

California dealer Ed Witt of Witt Lincoln Mercury expects the SYNC accessory kit to be a big hit with Navigator customers. Witt was one of the first dealers to order up the kits in early April. "This product is done to perfection and works just as if it came from the factory," says Witt, who installed 10 of the SYNC kits just three weeks after it became available. "For standalone Lincoln Mercury dealers, the Navigator is an extremely important product for us - an icon for the Lincoln brand. Having SYNC gives us the opportunity to go back to our Navigator customers and offer them a solid system that is absolutely seamless and works perfectly."

For the SYNC retrofit kit, customers must own a 2008 Navigator or Navigator L equipped with the Elite Package that includes the voice-activated navigation radio and rear seat DVD. Vehicles must also be built after December 4, 2007.

The accessory kit, which consists of the SYNC module and related hardware, costs under $550 installed. Installation time is under two hours.

The system uses the existing steering wheel button controls and voice- activation functionality connected with the navigation system, eliminating the need for an add-on HMI or microphone to operate SYNC. Once installed, the retrofit SYNC system is fully integrated. "The hardware is hidden and the system is totally seamless to the customer," says White.

SYNC accessory kits are also under development for other vehicles, including the Ford Mustang.

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