Sony Showcases Ford Flex Deal In NYC

Ford is taking a page out of Subaru's book and will be partnering with Sony for a factory-installed in-car entertainment system. The first model will be a Ford Flex, much like the one we received the chauffeur treatment in, and it will be on display at the Sony Style store on Madison Avenue in New York City.

Prior to this relationship, Ford and Sony had a limited relationship that included factory-installed Sony Xplode speakers in a variety of Ford Focus models.

The big kicker with this release is that the first 150 people to check out the Ford Flex with Sony equipment will receive digital download samplers, or in other words, free MP3s. The Flex will be on display today from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern.

FORD FLEX WITH SONY AUDIO SYSTEMS MAKES ITS DEBUT IN NEW YORK AT THE SONY STYLE STORE

* Ford reveals first Sony-branded audio system in the new Ford Flex being shown at the Sony Style store on Madison Avenue today from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.
* Sony Music will be handing out 150 Sony digital download samplers to customers coming to see the Ford Flex
* Ford has signed a long-term agreement with Sony Electronics for Sony-branded audio systems in Ford and Mercury vehicles in North America

New York, March 18 - Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] and Sony Electronics are showing the first fruits of their new relationship in North America in the form of the new Ford Flex with Sony audio. The Flex appears at the flagship Sony Style store on Madison Avenue between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. today, where the first 150 customers will have the chance to get their hands on a Sony BMG MusicPass digital download card sampler.

This will be the first time the Sony audio system has been featured in the innovative new Ford Flex full-size utility.

Set to launch in summer, Flex is a daring new vehicle in the full-size crossover segment and will further build momentum for Ford crossovers, which already include Ford Escape and Edge.

Flex will feature a host of new technologies in addition to the Sony audio system. These include SIRIUS Satellite Radio with Travel Link™ as well as the award-winning SYNC system, which has been further enhanced for the Ford Flex.

"We have enjoyed a very successful partnership at Ford of Europe with Sony-branded audio," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. "Customers tell us that good audio systems are high on their list of priorities. Sony-branded audio and a host of other signature technologies will help differentiate Ford products in the marketplace."

"Ford and Sony are two of the world's most well-known brands," said Don Courvisier, vice president and general manager for the Automotive Entertainment Solutions Group at Sony Electronics in the United States and Europe. "This arrangement is a natural fit given our success together in Europe."

This is the third collaboration between Sony and Ford in North America. Ford and Sony offered a limited-edition Focus Sedan in 2000, outfitted with Sony Xplod® audio equipment. More recently, Ford offered "Sound Designed by Sony" in the Ford Focus in North America.

In Europe, Sony-branded audio systems are offered in the Mondeo, Focus, C-Max, S-Max and Galaxy models.