Canadian Manufacturing

Ford feud with Apple ‘overblown’: chairman

Ford was not included when Apple revealed that nine auto companies plan to unveil in-car technology based on its voice recognition system.

DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford executive chairman Bill Ford says the apparent battle between the car company and tech behemoth Apple is “overblown.”

At a recent event for software developers, in which Apple announced a host of upcoming features for its mobile operating system, it was revealed that nine auto companies plan to unveil in-car technology based on the popular Siri voice recognition system.

Audi, BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes and Toyota were on the list, but noticeably absent was Ford, which arguably has made the largest push to bring connectivity to the car market.

Ford has its own in-car technology system, called Sync, which can take voice commands to operate its GPS system, the stereo and a long list of other functions.

At an innovation conference in Dearborn, Mich., Ford said his company had already worked closely with Apple to ensure iPhones connected well with Sync, and welcomed more collaboration.

He dismissed a question suggesting that Ford and Apple could soon fight for the same tech savvy consumers.

“I’m not sure we’d view it as a looming battle,” said Ford, who is the great grandson of Henry Ford.

“Would I want to work with Apple in the future? Of course and I think this is overblown and it’s early days. We’ve been at this a long time with the Sync … and I like what we’re doing, I like the fact we’re device agnostic. It certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t work with Apple.”

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