Q. Why is it important for Ford to be at the Consumer Electronics Show?
A. This is the third time we have been invited to be a keynote at CES. It demonstrates how consumer electronics are moving to the forefront of all our lives. The neat thing is that we are being appreciated as the car application of choice because we are absolutely focused on improving the driver experience, hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, using all the same interfaces so the consumer can be connected to the digital world.
Q. Why did Ford decide to show the Focus Electric here?
A. The automobile has moved into the mainstream of our integrated digital world. To be able to share the next step in the evolution of our technology at CES demonstrates how consumer electronics and are creating the future. Not only is it the electric car, but an electric future. All the applications that allow us to operate in our electric world will be using consumer electronics technology integrated with the car platform. To be able to announce the next step in the evolution of the car here is very exciting.
Q. Do you think cars are becoming more gadget-centric than performance-centric?
A. I think it is absolutely true. When we were first invited here to describe where we're going, our capability and to help us manage our interfaces with all our information, entertainment, guidance and navigation, the response we got back [from the consumer electronics industry] is helping the driver to be a better driver, but also be able to perform in a connected world. We love the description that we are the car application of choice.
Q. You work with other partners outside the industry like Pandora. Any takeaways?
A. Remember that 70 percent of the dollar value of an automobile is contributed by all our partners and suppliers. As we move into an integrated world where consumer electronics and car expertise are creating the future of the automobile, this partnership is going to get tighter and even stronger. Working with the companies you mentioned, as well as Apple and Google, we are the application of choice.
Q. Moore's law essentially states that integrated circuit capacity doubles every two years. Can the car companies keep up?
A. What's really neat about our Ford plan is that we have integrated the product development cycle for both the car and consumer electronics and have done that by having an open architecture, where we are the base. We are managing the interface with the consumer electronic development and we are also focusing on each of us being better drivers. So, we have the platform. You can walk into a Ford store and sync up with your latest applications; you can do it on the platform that we have designed, that is robust, that's open and allows all the technology to keep moving and improving.
Q. What can you do to make Ford cars as useful as Google and as hip as the iPad?
A. We've always loved the automobile and we all love Henry Ford's original vision to open the highways to all mankind, the freedom and movement. And we want to be able to do that now, and be connected to the digital world, and to do that safely and efficiently. In Ford's case, whether you buy a car, utility or a truck, is that you will get the best quality, fuel efficiency, safety features and smartest like Sync. Because of the scale of the Ford product line, it will also be the most affordable. That's a great brand promise.