In getting ready to launch its SYNC AppLink advanced in-vehicle connectivity serve next year in Europe, Ford is building its image among tech savvy audiences by sponsoring the annual awards of gadget magazine T3.
In Europe, the launch of SYNC AppLink, which allows Ford drivers to access compatible apps on their mobile phones using voice-activated controls, will coincide with the launch of the EcoSport subcompact crossover. In introducing AppLink to Europe, Ford is attempting to position itself as a market-leading automaker when it comes to technology. In that regard, Ford’s sponsorship of the T3 Awards that take place early October, is meant to establish its “name in the tech sector”, said to Anthony Ireson, Ford UK marketing director.
A few weeks ago at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, Ford announced the latest batch of apps compatible with AppLink. New apps include the likes of Hotels.com and join music-streaming service Spotify in what is already a high-profile list of participants, which itself encourages other app developers to make their apps compatible with AppLink using the software development kit (SDK) provided by Ford.
And in launching AppLink, Ford’s messaging will not omit the mature audience, which — according to Mr. Ireson — will constitute a significant proportion of the AppLink user base.
“Very few young people buy new vehicles these days, and we know that older people use apps just like younger ones,” he says. “They may not download as many apps as younger people but still use them none-the-less.”
In the meantime, Ford is also driving demand for AppLink by letting its Facebook fans order limited edition Ford EcoSports models via the social network.