Following a string of complaints from its customers regarding
the touch-screen entertainment and navigation system,
Ford Motor Co.
) is reportedly set to upgrade and extend the warranty on its
MyFord Touch system by two years.
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After the upgrade, MyFord Touch will feature a more simple
Bluetooth pairing process and can better recognize natural speech
and features. The warranty period for the system has been
extended to 5 years with no limitations on miles traveled,
compared with the earlier warranty period of 3 years and 36,000
miles. The company has also extended the warranty of the software
in the Lincoln vehicles by 2 years with unlimited miles traveled
from 4 years and 50,000 miles.
Ford will be providing the upgraded navigation system to drivers
without navigation by the next month. Vehicles with navigation
systems will receive updates in January. Hybrids, plug-in hybrids
and electric vehicles will be upgraded by the first quarter of
2013. The drivers can either receive the upgrades from the local
dealers or from the company directly, where they have to download
the software from the USB drives provided by Ford.
Ford considers that technological improvement of the vehicles is
essential on a regular basis with emphasis on software and
application. Recently, the company upgraded the voice recognition
capability and navigation in the 3.5 version software. Ford had
earlier upgraded MyFord Touch in March, owing to the slow speed
and complexity associated with the system.
Michigan-based Ford is one of the largest automobile producers
globally. The company is divided into two segments: Automotive
and Financial services.
We appreciate the company's expansion plan in both the mature and
emerging markets, continuous focus on hybrid vehicles and plans
for launching 6 new Lincoln models in the next 3 years. However,
we are concerned about its sluggish European and South American
operations together with disappointing results from its Financial
Ford, which competes with
), maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term
(1 to 3 months) Hold rating. We have a long-term (more than 6
months) Neutral recommendation on its shares.