Ford Gaps the Narrow With Its Asian Rivals

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Sorry, I get confused sometimes, what with all these domestic automaker-sponsored surveys that surprise! reveal that their products' quality is nearasdammit as good as their competitions'. Initially. In some cases. If you're comparing a lack of defects– as opposed to some other, more consumercentric measure of quality. Anyway, once again Ford paid RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills to survey 31k car buyers who'd lived with their new whip for all of 90 days. The Detroit News (DTN) dutifully reports that "2007 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks had 1,395 quality issues per 1,000 vehicles, compared with 1,381 per 1,000 vehicles for 2007 Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars and trucks." (Honda came first.) Just in case you suspect that shock! Ford's patronage might have influenced the outcome, the DTN assures us that "The firm conducts similar studies for other automakers [Ed. with similar results?]," and "its findings have hewed close to those of the closely watched annual initial quality survey independently conducted by J.D. Power and Associates." Bennie Fowler, Ford's quality chief, told the DTN that Ford's "trying to listen to its customers and take their concern to heart." As Yoda would say, "Do… or do not. There is no try."

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Gentle Ted Gentle Ted on Oct 14, 2007

    Someone mentioned in this article about Ford Vehicles that even ConsumerReports liked Ford! They certainly did not like the "Edge" in a recent magazine

  • Skor Skor on Oct 14, 2007

    It'll take Ford a long time to come back, if ever. They've burned too many people for too many years. Goodwill is very difficult for a company to accumulate but very easy to squander -- once squandered it's almost impossible to get back.

  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Oct 15, 2007

    Ford had the right idea already to address this issue: warranty. The only problem is they didn't go far enough (although this is actually a result of several problems). You want to change people's perception immediately, easy 100K bumper to bumper fully transferrable warranty with free maintenance for the first 50K.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Oct 15, 2007
    Prior to this court action—all Toyota did was blame the customer for the issue. Of course. Toyota gets a free pass for the blame the customer game while Ford (see above posts) and GM get plastered to the wall. umterp: But GM and Ford have been getting it since the days of cracked Vega blocks and exploding Pintos. Only now is Toyota large enough to be on the losing end of product liability concerns. My point is: Toyota is going down a slippery slope, but it takes decades to create the damage done to Detroit's rep in the court of public opinion. You can't blame people here (and maybe even the media) for slamming Detroit for every wrong move. Payback is a bitch, ya know.