Automotive journalists don't often have immediate impact on the vehicles we drive. But even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then.
During the course of my judging duties for the 2011 Ward's 10 Best Interiors competition, I piloted the stylish '12Focus through downtown Detroit.
Contrary to some critics, I found the MyFord Touch infotainment system 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 its unmistakable blue trademark.
This made me wonder if, 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.
Fast-forward less than 24 hours after Ward's published this observation and the famed monument to American industry was added to Ford's model-year '12 navigation maps.
The Glass House joins a list of more than 2,500 landmarks featured in TomTom data for the Americas, says Erin Delaney, spokeswoman for the supplier. Also on that list: the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol Building.
Will Ford now erase GM's headquarters from its nav systems? Not likely. Says Ford spokesman Alan Hall: “We're proud to be part of Detroit, and GM is an important, valued neighbor.”
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Eric Mayne is a veteran auto industry journalist who has won numerous international awards for news and feature writing.