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Ford CEO to Headline Consumer Electronics Show, Again

CEA says overall sales of in-vehicle consumer electronics technology are expected to top $9.3 billion in 2009.

DEARBORN, MI – Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally will deliver the keynote address for the second year in a row at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Association’s annual tradeshow in Las Vegas this January, the association and Ford jointly announced Monday.

The International Consumer Electronics Show is billed as the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow.

“Alan Mulally has positioned Ford as a leading innovator in the automotive industry, and we are pleased to welcome him back to CES,” says Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president.

Ford has been something of a darling of the consumer electronics industry since it teamed with Microsoft Inc. in 2006 to create the voice-activated Sync multi-media system.

Since Ford began offering Sync in 2007, the technology has migrated to nearly every vehicle in its lineup as standard equipment or a $395 option.

CEA says overall sales of in-vehicle consumer-electronics technology are expected to top $9.3 billion in 2009.

Synch easily is updated, and revised software can be downloaded from a website,, then transferred by memory stick through the vehicle’s USB port. Vehicle owners also can update the system at Ford dealerships.

Ford executives say Sync has proven pivotal to helping the auto maker gain sales and market share.

Mulally is expected to announce more features and enhancements to Sync during his Jan. 7 address.

“At CES, we will show how Ford vehicles will become docking stations for mobile devices, thanks to our alliances with key technology players, and we will demonstrate how voice activation will be the key technology for future in-car experiences,” Mulally says.

In addition to the Ford keynote, numerous other in-vehicle technologies are expected to be displayed at CES, which takes place Jan. 7-10, including advancements in portable satellite-navigation devices, location-based services, in-car video, wireless technology and integrated products that combine entertainment with navigation and security.

Detroit-based automotive executives have been popular speakers at CES in recent years. Former General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner gave the keynote address in 2007.

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