•  Ford signs long-term agreement with Sony Electronics for Sony-branded audio systems in Ford and Mercury brand vehicles in North America.
  •  Move is part of broader strategy at Ford to equip its North American vehicles with clearly identifiable signature technologies.
  •  Agreement allows Ford and Sony to collaborate on marketing initiatives.

Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] and Sony Electronics today announced they have signed an agreement to offer Sony-branded audio systems across the lineup of Ford and Mercury branded vehicles in North America starting in 2008. The first vehicle to be equipped with Sony-branded audio will be unveiled April 4 at the New York Auto Show.

“We have enjoyed a very successful partnership at Ford of Europe with Sony-branded audio,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “Customers tell us that good audio systems are high on their list of priorities. Sony-branded audio and a host of other signature technologies will help differentiate Ford products in the marketplace.”

“Ford and Sony are two of the world’s most well known brands,” said Don Courvisier, vice president and general manager for the Automotive Entertainment Solutions Group at Sony Electronics in the United States and Europe. “This arrangement is a natural fit given our success together in Europe.”

Sony to provide Audio Systems for U.S. Ford models
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This is the third collaboration between Sony and Ford in North America. Ford and Sony offered a limited-edition Focus Sedan in 2000, outfitted with Sony Xplod® audio equipment. More recently, Ford offered “Sound Designed by Sony” in the Ford Focus in North America.

In Europe, Sony-branded audio systems are offered in the Mondeo, Focus, C-Max, S-Max and Galaxy models.

Strong Brand

Ford signed a long-term agreement with Sony in part because of the strong connection American consumers have with the Sony brand, Kuzak said. Sony continues to rank as the top consumer brand in the United States when consumers were asked to name the brands they consider the best, according to the annual Harris Interactive® consumer brand survey. For the seventh year consecutive year, and the ninth time in the last 11 years, Sony was rated No. 1. The latest survey results were released July 12, 2006.

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