DEARBORN, MI – Ford is responding to the explosive growth of iPod and MP3 audio players by offering auxiliary audio input jacks in half of its 2007-model Ford and Lincoln and Mercury products. The company predicts that iPod and other MP3 player sales will reach 132 million units in 2009 — more than double the 57.7 million sold in 2005. For the 2007-model year, built-in auxiliary audio-input jacks will be offered on the Ford Edge, Explorer, Expedition, Mustang, Fusion, Sport Trac, Ranger, F-150, Mercury Milan, Mountaineer, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKZ, Navigator, and Lincoln Mark LT. The jacks allow customers to bring any iPod or other MP3 player with a standard 3.5 millimeter audio output into their vehicle and play it through the audio system. In addition, early next year, Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers throughout the United States will begin offering Ford’s TripTunes Advanced audio system — an iPod integration feature that provides drivers with top sound quality and recharging at the same time. TripTunes Advanced allows the driver to store the iPod in the vehicle’s glove box and select music using the steering wheel or radio controls — including shuffling songs and skipping between tracks and playlists. Responding to another consumer trend, Ford is dramatically increasing the number of its vehicles with DVD-based navigation systems and SIRIUS satellite radio. Ford’s intuitive, DVD-based navigation system is new for 2007 on the Ford Fusion, F-150, Mustang, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln Mark LT. Also for 2007, Ford is broadening its relationship with SIRIUS satellite radio, adding the feature on the Ford Edge, Ford Shelby GT500, Five Hundred, Fusion, Mustang, Expedition, Ranger, Sport Trac, Mercury Montego, Milan, and Lincoln MKX and Navigator. By the 2008-model year, Ford expects to offer available SIRIUS satellite radio in 90 percent of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials