Eric Mayne's Blog

Ford Nav Screen Ignores Big Picture

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If Ward’s 10 Best Interiors issued a prize for most magnanimous navigation-system mapping, Ford would win hands-down.

During the course of my judging duties, I recently piloted the stylish ’12 Ford Focus – one of 51 entries for this year's honors – through downtown Detroit.

Contrary to some critics, I found MyFord Touch to be intuitive and engaging.

The nav screen’s 3-D mode displayed strikingly accurate physical representations of landmarks such as Cobo Hall (home to the North American International Auto Show) and GM headquarters.

Yes, GM headquarters. Complete with the auto maker’s unmistakable blue logo.

This made me wonder if Ford, now flush with cash having reinvented its product-development strategy, saw fit to wave the Blue Oval.

The answer? Fail.

A quick spin past the historic Glass House, undeniably one of the most iconic structures on the American corporate landscape, revealed a featureless topography at One American Rd., Dearborn, MI.

In fairness, Ford’s suburban-Detroit HQ is in the digital boondocks, compared with GM’s nerve center. Physical representations, while increasingly common on nav-system maps, largely are limited to built-up areas.

But Ford buyers often are more than customers. They are fans. Proud brand ambassadors.

However unlikely a drive-by might be for most of them, what better surprise-and-delight than a graphic reminder of the institution that inspired their purchase decisions?

Right now, all they’re getting is a stick in the eye from the cross-town rival.

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