Monday, August 07, 2006

Ford gears up for iPod demand

Ford said it is gearing up to offer customers the ability to plug iPods and other portable entertainment devices into its next-generation cars.

The car manufacturer will offer the enhanced audio features in 2007-model Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles. The company predicts that iPod and other MP3 player sales will reach 132 million units in 2009 – more than double the 57.7 million sold in 2005.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas said: "We see the booming trend in the audio marketplace, and we are responding quickly in our vehicles."

For the 2007-model year, built-in auxiliary audio-input jacks will be offered on the Ford Edge, Explorer, Expedition, Mustang, Fusion, Sport Trac, Ranger, F-150, Mercury Milan, Mountaineer, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKZ, Navigator and Lincoln Mark LT. The jacks allow customers to bring any iPod or other MP3 player with a standard 3.5 millimeter audio output into their vehicle and play it through the audio system.

In addition, early next year Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers throughout the US will begin offering Ford's TripTunes Advanced audio system. TripTunes Advanced allows the driver to store the iPod in the vehicle's glove box and select music using the steering wheel or radio controls – including shuffling songs and skipping between tracks and playlists.

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