ford b-max 2012.automotiveIT

Bill Ford will unveil the B-MAX and hold a keynote speech at the Barcelona event (Photo: Ford)

Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford will unveil the carmaker's new B-MAX model at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month.

The presence at the gathering of the Ford chairman underscores the growing importance of mobile communications for the car industry. The official automotive unveiling of the B-MAX will take place at the Geneva auto show in early March.

At the Mobile World Congress, Ford hopes to highlight the new technologies built into the B-MAX. Car companies are keen to show new driver assistance and telematics systems to potential car buyers who may not be attending traditional car shows.

In Barcelona, Bill Ford will deliver a keynote at the event and discuss Ford's vision for future mobility and the integration of mobile and automotive technologies.

"Revealing the B-MAX at Mobile World Congress underlines how important technology is to customers and to Ford,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

Telecommunications and IT gatherings have gained greater prominence in the auto industry in recent years. Last year, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler and Ford CEO Alan Mulally were keynote speakers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Mulally also gave a keynote at the CeBIT high-tech fair in Hanover last March.

This year, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche spoke in Las Vegas and CeBIT, which will take place in March, also boosts a higher automotive presence.

The Mobile World Congress, one of the biggest annual gatherings of the global mobile communications industry, takes place in Barcelona Feb. 27 - March 1. The event features a conference with a range of keynote speakers, including Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent; Li Yue, president China Mobile; Vikram Pandit, CEO Citigroup; John Chambers, Cisco CEO; and Rene Obermann, head of Deutsche Telekom. Bill Ford is the only automotive CEO among listed keynote speakers.

More information on the Congress can be found here.

-By Arjen Bongard

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