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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Study: Ford's quality ranks first in customer satisfaction

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Study: Ford's quality ranks first in customer satisfaction

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

A study commissioned by Ford Motor Co. found that the Dearborn automaker now has the highest customer satisfaction with vehicle quality of all the major automobile manufacturers.

Eighty-four percent of customers who purchased a 2010 Ford, Lincoln or Mercury said they were satisfied with the quality of their car or truck, according to the quarterly survey by the RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills. It conducts similar research for other automakers, and its findings have historically mirrored the results of research by J.D. Power and Associates, Consumer Reports and others.

Ford has been identified as a quality leader by those organizations as well.

"To become the No. 1 automaker in terms of customer satisfaction with vehicle quality is an amazing accomplishment and testament to the whole company's commitment to quality," said Bennie Fowler, Ford's global quality czar. "All the third parties' studies are showing the same thing: Ford now has world-class quality."

Ford said its customer satisfaction scores are now significantly higher than all other full-line automotive manufacturers, including Asian and European automakers, citing the RDA results.

They showed Ford has the fewest number of vehicle defects, or "things gone wrong," after the first three months of ownership -- 1,107 issues per 1,000 vehicles -- an 8 percent improvement over last year.

Ford said further proof of its quality gains comes from its warranty claims. Repair rates for vehicles in the first three months of service have dropped by more than 40 percent over the past three years, the company said.

"Ford has proven its commitment to quality by demonstrating steady improvements through consistency and discipline." said Donald Pietrowski, president of the RDA Group. "Those improvements are clearly reflected in rising customer satisfaction with its products."

His company said Ford vehicles had the highest customer satisfaction in eight segments, the highest being the Fusion Hybrid with 93 percent and Ford Taurus with 92 percent. Other segment leaders were:

• Mercury Milan Hybrid

• Ford Focus

• Mercury Mountaineer

• Ford Expedition

• Lincoln Navigator

• Ford Ranger

The last four are older products that have not seen a significant redesign in years.

"While we are proud of the progress we've made, we know how important it is to keep the momentum going," Fowler said. "We can never be satisfied."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100419/AUTO01/4190387/1148/auto01/Study--Ford-s-quality-ranks-first-in-customer-satisfaction#ixzz0lYPKe459

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