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I sat in on Ford Motor Company's press conference this morning at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. They started off the presentation by emphasizing their laser sharp focus on how the company is running: "One Team...One Plan...One Goal...One Ford." All of that is nice, but what caught me off guard was the use of one symbol that appeared on the stage floor during their entire press conference: the iconic "on/off" symbol. Eventually, it flew away as the new 2011 Ford Focus rose from beneath the floor.

Ford's automotive marketing messages to the public have greatly centered on how their cars and trucks fit with our personal lifestyle. The Sync is the most notorious system that most of you probably know about that supports this goal. The point is that Ford is taking the automobile and making it part of what you and I do every day. That's to say, my mobile devices, my music, my fundamental desire to stay connected with everything and everyone while I (safely) drive their product is a real option. And it looks really good for all types of buyers, young and old.

If you pay any attention to consumer electronics, we know through watchful consumer research and other sales trends that cars and e-gadgets have converged. Ford is going to capitalize on this human desire to make both systems work, and it seems like it's a good bet for their product strategy.

On/Off switches....Blue Oval...stay tuned. I'm excited for them.

Posted by Lonnie Miller, Director of Industry Analysis, Polk (01.11.2009)

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