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Ford ties Honda, Toyota in initial quality survey

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http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic.../804050355/1148

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ford ties Honda, Toyota in initial quality survey

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. is in a dead heat with Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in terms of initial vehicle quality, according to a study the automaker is expected to release Monday.

The report is based on an annual survey of thousands of new vehicle owners conducted for Ford by the RDA Group, a market research firm based in Bloomfield Hills. The study looked at 2008 model cars and trucks from all full-line manufacturers. Drivers were asked to list any problems they had encountered during their first 90 days of ownership.

Ford plans to tout its quality gains in a new marketing campaign that will launch Tuesday night with advertisements on Fox's popular "American Idol." The ads will use real Ford employees and consumers to pitch Blue Oval cars and trucks.

The shape of things to come was revealed on a new Web site, www.driveoneford.com, which went live on Thursday. Ford has not publicly announced the new site, but revealed it to employees and dealers Thursday.

"For several months now, the Ford team in the U.S. has been working on new ways to tell the story of our strong product lineup, improved quality, and our accomplishments in safety, fuel economy and technology," said Ford spokesman Jim Cain. "We're very close to finishing the first phase of work, so we felt the time was right to give our employees and dealers an update on the project, which will include new advertising with the theme 'Drive one' and other initiatives which will help introduce more consumers to Ford vehicles."

The multimedia-heavy Web site focuses on the four pillars of Ford's new marketing strategy: "Drive quality," "Drive green," "Drive safe" and "Drive smart." They are designed to highlight the automaker's quality gains, environmentally friendly technologies, safety features of its vehicles and technologies like Sync, the voice-activated computer system it designed with Microsoft Corp.

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Ford has always been the Tin Lizzie of domestics, building lots of reliable if under-appreciated cars...

Chris

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Sounds good to me. I would love to see Ford regain their part of the market along with GM.

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I'm happy for Ford. If focused correctly, there's room for Lincoln, and to a lesser extent, Mercury. The MKS is not what the market is waiting for with bated breath, but it's a very appealing vehicle. It will bring credible attention to Lincoln if the quality is there. In a buried inkling the MKZ appears as a terrifc budget buy in the near-luxury market. It's an exceptional car that delivers everything someone would need and many things people desire. Hopefully that translates to the MKS.

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The Edmunds owner reviews for the new Focus are maintaining their high average, even as the number of reviews increases. People seem to be pleased with what they've done with the car.
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Ford did well in a survey they commissioned? Shocking.

Less desperate companies wouldn't bother.

There is no comparison between GM and Ford. At least GM is now building some good looking cars. Ford is the Disaster of Design.

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Ford did well in a survey they commissioned? Shocking.

Less desperate companies wouldn't bother.

There is no comparison between GM and Ford. At least GM is now building some good looking cars. Ford is the Disaster of Design.

I figured the new Focus would look alright in person, but after seeing many on the road and at dealerships, I'm still baffled.

I think Ford saw how well the new CR-V did and decided to just go for it.

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http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080407/clm057.html?.v=101

New Quality Study Shows Ford Is Second to None

Monday April 7, 11:00 am ET

- Ford catches Honda in initial quality, putting it in statistical tie at the top with Toyota and Honda.

- Ford's vehicle quality improved 8 percent versus last year.

- Every new car and truck, including the 2008 Ford Focus, launched with improved quality versus its predecessor.

DEARBORN, Mich., April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- When it comes to initial vehicle quality, no automaker performs better than Ford (NYSE: F - News).

The quality of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles soared to the top of the charts equaling that of Toyota and Honda, according to the first quarter 2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System (GQRS) study conducted by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

The study shows Ford's domestic brands improved 8 percent versus last year with a combined average of 1,284 things-gone-wrong (TGW) per 1,000 vehicles during the first three months of ownership. This performance is statistically equivalent to the 1,250 TGW level of Honda and Toyota.

"Last year we tied with Toyota, and this year our quality performance is as good as industry-leading Honda's too," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Our world-class quality is one of the most important aspects of our turnaround in North America. This consistently strong quality improvement should offer today's customer renewed confidence, setting the stage for important new products like Ford Flex, which is launching this summer."

Ford's dramatically improved vehicle quality will be highlighted in a sweeping new marketing campaign called "Drive One" that officially debuts Tuesday. The campaign tells the story behind Ford's rise to the top of the industry in initial vehicle quality as well as underscoring safety, smart technology and improved fuel efficiency.

The company earned best-in-class honors in two important engineering functions: interiors, which includes such areas as trim, seats and instrument panel appearance; and electrical, which includes entertainment systems. Ford tied for best-in-class in two other functions, paint and vehicle engineering, which includes such areas as ride and handling and cabin quietness.

Additionally, Ford's domestic brands pushed customer satisfaction up one point to 77 percent.

"There is an unprecedented level of teamwork at Ford. Everyone from the top floor to the plant floor is working together to deliver the highest quality vehicles for our customers," said Bennie Fowler, Ford's group vice president of Global Quality. "We are extremely proud to be among the industry's quality leaders. But that's not why we're in the game. We want sole possession of first place, and we will keep working to earn it."

A total for 15 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury vehicles are ranked in the top three of their respective segments for either TGW performance, customer satisfaction or both.

The following models are segment leaders:

-- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 - TGW for sports car

-- Ford Taurus - customer satisfaction for large car

-- Ford Sport Trac - customer satisfaction for medium traditional utility

-- Mercury Milan - TGW for midsize car

-- Lincoln Navigator - TGW and customer satisfaction for large premium

utility

The new 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable both recorded quality levels that equate to less than one problem per vehicle, as did the Volvo S80 (947). The Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ were close, with 1,030 TGW and 1,065 TGW, respectively.

The Taurus also led a string of impressive new vehicles launched in 2007. Taurus showed a 33 percent quality improvement compared with the product it replaced. The new Ford Escape improved 16 percent over the out-going model, and the new Ford Focus improved 13 percent.

In fact, 36 of 40 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda nameplates improved this year versus 2007.

The 2008 first quarter U.S. GQRS study, which RDA Group conducts for Ford, asks customers of all major makes and models to comment on troubles and rate their overall satisfaction with their three-month-old vehicles. The survey includes vehicles registered from September 2007 through November 2007.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com .

Edited by regfootball
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Wow... they may have to change it to:

Found On Road Driving

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I would say "Drive One" is a very good motto for Ford. I've never liked Ford's, but after spending the past four days in a rental Expedition EL, I am thouroughly impressed, I might even go as far as to say driving it was nicer than driving my friends mom's Yukon. Granted I never spent that much time behind the wheel of the Yukon, the point is that I have a new appreciation for Ford vehicles.

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Ford did well in a survey they commissioned? Shocking.

Less desperate companies wouldn't bother.

There is no comparison between GM and Ford. At least GM is now building some good looking cars. Ford is the Disaster of Design.

Ford paid for a survey from an INDEPENDENT company, to confirm what they already knew............ due to MUCH lower warranty costs. Basically, that the quality programs that they have implemented at the factories, are working.............. and paying off.

If you want to slam this survey as being BS, well then I guess that CR's is also BS, since they have been touting how much improved Fords quality/reliability is............. and have even put the Fusion and Taurus ahead of their foreign competition (and are now recommending 93% of new Fords). JD Powers has also noted Fords improvements, and should show even more when the new surveys come out in June? (I think it is August for reliability and June for IQS)

But you are right................ it is all BS, and everyone is wrong except you.

Toyota and Honda did not build their reputations by having gorgeous/stunning/sexy cars, now did they? How much more would it help if Ford built cars that people said "Wow, gorgeous POS," about.

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Ford paid for a survey from an INDEPENDENT company, to confirm what they already knew............ due to MUCH lower warranty costs. Basically, that the quality programs that they have implemented at the factories, are working.............. and paying off.

If you believe that when a company pays for an independent study you get an indepedent study, I have some marsh land to sell you. I'll show you some independent proof that contains a gold, oil, and diamonds.

If you want to slam this survey as being BS, well then I guess that CR's is also BS, since they have been touting how much improved Fords quality/reliability is............. and have even put the Fusion and Taurus ahead of their foreign competition (and are now recommending 93% of new Fords). JD Powers has also noted Fords improvements, and should show even more when the new surveys come out in June? (I think it is August for reliability and June for IQS)

Just because CR shows that Ford is improving doesn't automatically mean they are the best.

The JD Powers IQS survey is junk. If you don't believe me, just check the wild swings they get ever time they tweak it. How can BMW be near best in IQS one year and near worst the next? And that is just one example out of dozens. Why would anyone actually trust such a thing?

As exciting as it is that within three months the number of people complaining about how hard the Ford seats are is equal to the number of people complaining about the speed of Toyota's AC, I'm more interested in how many times I've had to pay to have the head gasket replaced in 7 years. Whenever a company sticks to a three month initial window it is a tacit admission that their cars DO NOT compare in the longer term when the big and expensive items break. Whether that is because their new models are so much better than their old, or just because these IQS studies often measure the most idiotic of things, it is too early to say.

When you do your OWN IQS, you are pretty much showing your products are inferior where it really matters.

Toyota and Honda did not build their reputations by having gorgeous/stunning/sexy cars, now did they? How much more would it help if Ford built cars that people said "Wow, gorgeous POS," about.

I was just thinking the other day that Ford seemed to be one of the more reliable domestics, but they make some of the ugliest vehicles on the road. They should try GM's tack and at least make their cars look good.

** Interesting thing about the fusion: It is basically a Mazda 6, so Mazda should get a lot of the credit. But at the same time, the V6 Mazda 6, which was traditionally a very reliable car according to CR, was knocked out of that standing when it was given a FORD V6. Funny.

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** Interesting thing about the fusion: It is basically a Mazda 6, so Mazda should get a lot of the credit. But at the same time, the V6 Mazda 6, which was traditionally a very reliable car according to CR, was knocked out of that standing when it was given a FORD V6. Funny.

.....and I had a 2003 Mazda6 company car that I've talked about quite a bit on C&G......put 51,000 miles on it in two years......and the ONLY problem I had was a recall on the clutch.

I didn't take the car in for one other item, no matter how big nor how small.....and certainly never had any problems with the V6 engine.

This was the most reliable car I've ever had......so just goes to show you how much true faith one should put into ANY reliability/durability study.

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Ford paid for a survey from an INDEPENDENT company, to confirm what they already knew.

Do you really think Ford would have paid that 3rd party if the results weren't going to be favorable for them? All surveys, IMHO, are very unreliable. JD, CR, and the lot of them. They are usually either not comprehensive enough or are influenced by one party more than another --or in many cases both.

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Actually, if you took the time to compare the 2004 JD Power IQS with last years 3-year dependability survey............. you would find them to VERY similar.

In other words, if you build it good out of the gate.............. as in, take the time to impliment the processes to insure initial quality.............. you usually also get good long term dependability. This is because, the same care that you took, to insure initial quality in assembly, is also implimented in engineering and design, and with your suppliers. You are an idiot if you only do one, and not the other.

That said, you do not want Ford to tout their latest IQS results............... they are supposed to just sit on their thumbs for 3-5-7-10 years (whenever you deem it good enough)............. to tout their long term dependability?? Boy, your tough.

BTW, the domestics have usually done fairly well in long term studies. Their IQS scores used to be pretty bad. To reverse that, is good.

Oh, one final thing. So, Fords paid for study (boy that company would be in big trouble if they cooked the numbers, as they also do studies for other manufacturers) is BS.............. and Consumers Reports is BS............. and JD Powers is BS. Ok............... then what can people look to, to find out this information??? You???

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