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Consumers may be complaining about the MyFord Touch system, but that hasn’t dissuaded CEO Alan Mulally from continuing to focus on in-vehicle electronics as a key way to connect with buyers.

The CEO conceded that Ford might have overlooked voice controls and depended far too much on touch-screen technology — but still firmly advocated investing in the developing technologies that are bringing the connected car to today’s consumer.

As he told Automotive News, “We want to move to the place where you have this enduring relationship with your Ford store just like your Apple store.”

Sounds like the car company wants to sell you the hardware and a lot of software that goes with it in the future. That being said, on the Sync side, Ford announced it sold over 5 million vehicles with that system in the last five years.

Echoing the CEO, Chief Technology Officer Paul Mascarenas noted, “The car is a rich source of real-time data and when combined with the processing power available in the cloud, it could become the smartest device you will ever own.”

Check out more full coverage, read the Automotive News article for more from Alan Mulally here and see the CE Outlook story with quotes from Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas here.

According to research firm Gartner, 35 percent of the 1.9 billion phones sold this year will be smartphones.

About half of the consumers in the U.S. have one already. (You can read that report from Reuters here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-smartphones-outlook-idUSBRE86S09B20120729.)

So it’s no wonder that the 12-volt industry is optimistic about the growth for the remote start via smartphone market. Our own VP of Product Planning James Turner joined other executives in the consensus view.

Discussing the growth of Viper SmartStart, Turner said: “We do believe it’s going to be the fastest-growing category we have.”

About 350,000 remote start kits are sold in the aftermarket each year and experts agree that smartphone remote start systems will reach a high of 10 percent of that market this year — at least! And given the rising sales of smartphones in general, that number should continue to climb in the near future.

So, get out of the way, skeptics!!!! And get on board with the cloud-connected car!

(And psssssssssst, by the way, why not get on board with Viper, who innovated and brought you the first-ever smartphone app that could start your car — and has delivered the most new features for customers ever since? Sounds pretty good to us!)

Any new Viper SmartStart features that you’d like to see, let us know in comments!

Read a full report on the growth of smartphone remote starters from CE Outlook below here:

Remote Start From Phones to Hit 10 Percent of Sales