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    Ford Takes A Good, Long Look At Their Product Launches


    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    May 7, 2013

    Ford's recent product launches have had their fair share problems. From Ford Escapes equipped with the 1.6L EcoBoost that could catch on fire to Lincoln MKZs being delayed on the production line to make sure they were being built to the highest quality they can be. Now Ford is taking a long, hard look at how they do product launches.

    "We've done a complete analysis on lessons learned in the last couple of years, including the recent MKZ launch, and are now incorporating a number of changes in our development and new-model launch process," said Ford President of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs to Automotive News.

    Ford's ambitious launches of new- and redesigned models during the past two years strained Ford and its suppliers Hinrichs admits.

    “We’ve gone through some growing pains getting those new processes and plants launched, and we’ve learned a lot from that,” Hinrichs said.

    Ford is "trying to be a lot more proactive earlier in the development process to identify the issues and get in front of them," he said.

    The changes will affect dealers more than consumers, but the end result will hopefully improve the experience for a consumer.

    The changes Ford will be implementing include monthly launch reviews with quality comparisons against competing vehicles, hiring and sending engineers to supplier plants to monitor their ability to keep pace with vehicle launches, and using models and tech to find potential problems earlier.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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