Sukhwinder Wadhwa, Ford manager of the latest SYNC platform and technologies, refuses to accept failure. That attitude, coupled with the talented team of engineers supporting him, might be one of the reasons the Ford SYNC in-car communications system has been such a success.
“I enjoy pushing the envelope to the extreme, creating a product that is best-in-class and sets a benchmark for the rest of the industry,” said Wadhwa. “I’m the kind of person who prides himself on always coming through with commitments, and I’m proud that SYNC has consistently lived up to – and surpassed – our commitment to our customers.”
Wadhwa has a personal connection to the SYNC system. In 2005, after working on Bluetooth® integration and satellite radio systems, he and two other engineers laid out the concept for what they called a “media gateway module,” or MGM. Along with his manager Gary Jablonski, Wadhwa took the MGM concept to senior Ford leadership, and SYNC was born.
“I was basically one of the first engineers on the SYNC team back in 2005, and by the time we got to the August 2007 launch, I was the project lead,” explains Wadhwa. “As soon as SYNC was in the marketplace, we began work on additional functionality, realizing constant innovation would be required to maintain our leadership position.”
In the process of maintaining SYNC as the automotive infotainment benchmark, Wadhwa tackles diverse responsibility. He leads SYNC architecture design, component engineering, supplier selection and technology implementation, shepherding development from concept through design, validation and production – the “full lifecycle.”
Wadhwa is adamant about one thing in particular, however: the contributions of the team he leads. “I’m just one engineer. SYNC would not exist without the hard work and dedication of every person involved in the project.”
Road to Dearborn
It would seem mobile telematics is a field Wadhwa has been training for his whole life, but Dearborn is a long way from his childhood home.
“I’ve loved cars since I was a kid in Punjab, India,” said Wadhwa. “After I got my B.E. at Gulbarga University in India, I had the good fortune to get into the auto industry through a Ford-Qualcomm joint venture called Wingcast in 2000. I’ve been with Ford ever since.”
Even before his Wingcast experience, Wadhwa was familiar with Ford vehicles. In fact, his first ride on this continent was a Ford product.
“As a new immigrant to Canada in 1996, I could only afford a modest, second-hand car,” said Wadhwa. “I bought a used Mercury Topaz.”
Much later, Wadhwa had another opportunity to prove Ford toughness to himself – and the bystanders who were treated to an example of why the F-150 is Wadhwa’s favorite Ford.
“I once pulled a loaded semitrailer/tractor that was stuck in the snow by chaining it to my F-150 and using reverse gear,” said Wadhwa. “That was proof positive the F-150 has earned its history of rugged performance and remains one of the reasons the F-150 is my all-time favorite Ford vehicle.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Jan. 7, 2010