Ford to Offer Embedded SD Navigation Priced Below $1,000

Ford Motor Company has cut the price of its embedded navigation system by introducing SD Card Premium Navigation which will be available on the 2011 Edge crossover vehicle. SD Card Premium Navigation will option will be available as part of Ford’s MyFord Touch system for $795. Compared with portable navigation devices, the price may seem high, but it’s a bargain when compared to most cost other onboard navigation systems, which cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

Ford’s new, lower priced navigation system may be ordered when customers take delivery or at a later date. For those who choose to add the system later, they will still have Ford’s TDI (trips, directions, information) cloud-based navigation system at no charge for their first three years of ownership.

Beginning in September, Ford’s MyFord Touch system will be available in the 2011 Edge. The system will be available on the Explorer full-sized SUV later this fall or early next year and on the redesigned Ford Focus next spring. Ford will also launch a version of the system for Lincoln customers. That system (aptly named MyLincoln Touch) will be available this fall on the Edge’s Lincoln sibling, the 2011 MKX.

Ford’s new SD navigation option will only be available at the premium level and will replace the current DVD- and hard-drive navigation systems. Customers who choose entry-level models will not have the option of SD navigation. Instead, they’ll receive a 4.2-inch non-touch, non-upgradable screen which can display Sync’s TDI navigation. The TDI system displays arrows, street names and distance countdowns instead of moving maps.

Models that don’t yet come with MyFord Touch can be upgraded to a traditional navigation system for around $1,500 to $2,000.

A handful of other major automakers have reduced the price of their integrated navigation systems to near $1,000. Korean automaker, Hyundai, had lowered the price on their embedded navigation system to $1,200 before making it available as part of an options package. Some other automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, offer embedded navigation as an upgrade option on their LCD screen equipped models. For those automakers, embedded navigation pricing has remained at just over $1,000.

Ford says that it will also offer an upgrade package consisting of an 8-inch LCD screen, the software and some touch-sensitive controls, and a rearview camera, on Edge models not equipped with MyFord Touch for about $1,000.

Ford says it is unable to lower the price for SD navigation any further, in large part, because of the high cost of the map data. Automakers typically pay more for the identical map information that’s available in most hand-held Personal Navigation Devices. One reason for the increased cost for automakers is the higher level of customization which often includes overlays featuring their dealerships.

The entry-level Ford Edge will be priced at $27,995 including freight charges. Premium and sport models, as well as those with options like all-wheel-drive, adaptive cruise control and xenon headlamps will be priced about $10,000 higher.

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