Conventional buttons and knobs that have worked so well in cars for years are returning to the cabins of upcoming Fords. That's what the automaker has announced in a recent release, saying that future vehicles with MyFord Touch will use more knobs and buttons along with touch-screen displays.
Sync and MyFord Touch have helped the Blue Oval raise average transaction prices, but the connectivity technologies have also contributed to huge drops in customer satisfaction as measured by companies including J.D. Power and Associates. Ford points to the full-size 2013 F-150 as an example of successful MyFord Touch execution, noting that models with the feature have a quality satisfaction rate of 86 percent. The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport's center stack with MyFord Touch is shown above.
Ford has attempted to increase customer satisfaction with MyFord Touch with downloadable upgrades, and another one is coming this summer. By the time the 2015 Ford Mustang debuts, we'd expect to see models with MyFord Touch to use this blend of buttons, knobs, and a touch-screen display, to make the system easier to use.
We got our first preview of Apple's "iOS in the Car" system last week, yet another example of increasing competition with vehicle connectivity systems. As Ford prepares complete redesigns of its two most iconic vehicles -- the F-150 and Mustang -- a combination of knobs, buttons, and touch screens should serve Ford well in dealerships and quality surveys.