Ford became the first automaker to offer HD Digital Radio across multiple product lines. The dealer-installed HD 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.
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.
Phil Cowdell, WPP’s Global Media Director CEO of Ford Media Services, tells RBR about Ford’s SYNC in an upcoming interview in our SmartMedia magazine: "…it will allow you to use your mobile phone through the car’s hi-fi system. You can drive hands free. SYNC basically provides a software operating platform in the car that means whatever devices you’ve got as a consumer, when you get in your car you can use them seamlessly. For example, when you plug your iPod in you then say "play Elvis Costello–Good Year for The Roses." If somebody sends you a text message and you’re driving it comes up with a sign that says "text message received" and you can say "read text message." You can even select the language you want and male or female voice to read you your text message."
To support the HD Radio 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 today.
RBR/TVBR observation: This is what we’ve all been waiting for-the last piece of the HD Radio puzzle. Hopefully the dominoes will start falling as well with GM and Chrysler. Now the real push begins against satellite’s 12.95 a month price tag. Now AM stations can offer music again as well. Congratulations Radio-this is some real icing on the cake for the NAB in Charlotte.