In light of upcoming CAFE regulations, automakers are looking to downsize vehicles to avoid hefty penalties, but some Americans might not be ready to take the step. In order to encourage younger Americans to make the jump to their own small car, Ford is offering a new way to personalize your 2011 Fiesta and even the yet-to-go-on-sale 2012 Focus.
Ford has introduced a number of vehicle personalization programs over the past few months, including graphics packages for everything from the F-150 and Mustang to the Fiesta. The newest graphics packages are so-called tattoos that will be available to order on the upcoming 2012 Focus. The tattoos are designed specifically to entice younger Americans who are increasingly personalizing their bodies with tattoos. Ford’s automotive tattoos offer an easy, and unlike real tattoos, painless way to personalize your car.
Unlike real tattoos that can be custom designed to anything you want, the tattoos Ford offers come in a variety of standard shapes and colors — but believe us, there are more than enough styles to satisfy anyone. There are three distinct graphics styles to choose from including hood, side, and full-length stripes, all of which have numerous sub-styles and colors to choose from. This creates more possible combinations than we would know what to do with. The graphics are a 3M film, which means that they are easily removed should the owner find a new graphics package that better suits their evolving taste. Focus graphics and the configuration site will be online in mid-January.
The next step in vehicular personalization involves electronics and smartphone integration. Smartphone owners have spent the time to customize their phones, so why shouldn’t the same principle apply to their vehicle? Ford has the answer with Sync AppLink, which allows for full smartphone integration, including smartphones apps like Pandora. The application just launched for Fiestas equipped with Sync and allows owners to operate smartphone apps using Sync’s voice and steering wheel controls.
“More and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car,” Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services, said in a prepared statement. “With AppLink, Sync is a smarter solution for these drivers who choose to use these apps while driving — making it the only connectivity system available that can extend app functionality to the car using both voice and steering wheel controls.”
There are a number of systems out right now, such as BMW’s iDrive, that allow smartphone users — not necessarily all operating systems though — to integrate certain functions such as email into the car’s infotainment controls. Ford’s AppLink is the first to utilize voice and steering wheel controls, allowing users to keep their eyes and hands focused on driving. All Ford Fiesta owners with Sync-equipped vehicles can download the software from syncmyride.com. The service is currently available for all BlackBerry and Android phones and will be available for the iPhone early next year.