Fleet News

Ford puts the Web on wheels

INTERNET communication is to be offered as standard on Britain's best-selling fleet car from September. Ford's Focus is set to put the internet on wheels, company chairman and chief executive Jac Nasser revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

From 2001 model year cars - which will enter UK showrooms in September - standard equipment on some Focus models will include voice-activated access to personalised internet information via the mobile telephone, automatic telephone dialling, and satellite navigation. Ford's pioneering use of the Internet in the Focus in the UK and across Europe will eventually be rolled out across every vehicle the manufacturer produces in the next two to three years as standard.

Ford has yet to decide which Focus models will initially be equipped with the hi-tech telematics package. In addition the equipment will also become standard across other Ford Motor Company-owned brands including Jaguar and Volvo. The telematics breakthrough will come at no cost to fleets or company car drivers through their benefit-in-kind tax bills, pledged Nasser.

Announcing the initiative he said: '100 years ago Henry Ford put the world on wheels; now we aim to put the internet on the road. It means the motorist will never be out of communication with the outside world.' Nasser revealed what Ford is calling 24.7 technology unveiled as a result of research which has showed customers want access to more information on the move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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