A string of new studies have shown that when it comes to cars, shoppers love high-tech options -- particularly those involving navigation and infotainment features. That may explain why Ford has decided to cut the price of its popular SYNC telematics system.
The $100 discount will make SYNC a $295 option for models on which it doesn't already come as standard equipment. What's more, Ford will now make SYNC available on base models -- something that hasn't even been an option before.
The new SYNC pricing and availability will roll out in phases. It'll first appear on the 2012 Ford Explorer and Ford Edge, for which SYNC will come standard on all packages other than the base "SE". The discount will then hit the 2013 Ford Escape, Flex, Focus, and Taurus. Within three years, Ford expects the new pricing and availability to reach all models in its North American lineup.
According to a press release, Ford says that the SYNC price cut is part of its efforts to curtail distracted driving. (You might recall that Ford recently became the first automaker to endorse the Safe Drivers Act of 2011, which would create a nationwide ban on using handheld mobile phone while driving.) We're certain that Ford is sincere about its work to end distracted driving, but it always seems a bit convenient when a company pushes for new rules that would, essentially, require consumers to purchase additional products from said company. In this case, a band on handheld mobile phones would make SYNC -- which offers drivers the ability to make handsfree calls, among other things -- even more attractive than it already is.
Unfortunately, studies have repeatedly shown that hands-free calling isn't the answer to the problem of distracted driving. Even worse, SYNC (along with its sister technology, MyFord Touch) was one of the reasons behind Ford's recent tumble in J.D. Power's Initial Quality rankings. Perhaps that helps explain why the roll out of the SYNC discount is fairly gradual -- so that Ford can make the admittedly great system a little more user-friendly.
For complete details about the SYNC price drop, feel free to scan the press release on the next page.