Issue: Sep 2016


Ford, HARMAN to Revolutionize In-Vehicle Audio Experiences Worldwide



B&O PLAY integration with Ford vehicles takes advantage of proprietary HARMAN technologies and tuning to deliver a richer, more engaging listening experience

by Nick Palmen

As new car buyers say audio brands are influencing their opinions of vehicles, Ford and HARMAN are teaming up to revolutionize in-vehicle experiences through the introduction of all-new B&O PLAY audio systems in Ford vehicles worldwide.

“Customers tell us they value consistent, high-quality audio experiences, and our collaboration with HARMAN is helping provide that,” said Raj Nair, Ford's executive vice president, product development and chief technical officer. “This is just one of the ways we are creating richer, more engaging in-vehicle experiences for customers.”

A recent Ipsos 2016 Automotive Audio Branding study, shows roughly one-third of new car buyers say that the audio brand in their next vehicle would have a significant impact on their purchase consideration.

B&O PLAY products reimagine more than 90 years of audio heritage, with natural materials, distinctive design and high-quality audio for seamlessly integrated experiences, whether a listener is in their home, on the go, or soon, in their car.

Ford announced the exclusive collaboration with HARMAN during the automaker’s annual Further with Ford trend conference. B&O PLAY debuts in Ford vehicles globally starting next year.

Elevated experiences

B&O PLAY’s unique approach creates a customized audio experience for customers with specifically tailored speaker placement and calibration for each vehicle in the Ford range. This means dynamic tuning ensures optimal sound is maintained in the cabin no matter what driving conditions are like – and regardless of where someone sits.

“Ford and B&O PLAY are a perfect match among brands that stand for quality, freedom and innovative design, coming together to revolutionize the driving experience for consumers,” said Michael Mauser, executive vice president and president of HARMAN’s Lifestyle Audio Division. “With our shared commitment to seamless engagement and elevated experiences, Ford is the ideal automaker to bring the transformative power of B&O PLAY audio to drivers and passengers worldwide,” he said.

To illustrate the power of sound, Ford and B&O PLAY today unveiled an installation called Sound Journeys, an on-site experience that triggers the five senses.

Using B&O PLAY products, the installation brings to life three different environmental habitats – a forest, a canyon and an ocean – featuring amplified sound. The experience even “visualizes” sound waves, demonstrating how sound can transform everyday spaces, creating richer, more visceral experiences for people.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

About HARMAN

HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company’s software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 29,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.9 billion during the 12 months ended June 30, 2016. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.

For further information regarding B&O PLAY and Ford, visit www.beoplay.com/Ford



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