Ford: Quality Is Dirty Job One

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

To my mind, this is video is some of the better corporate communication to come out of Detroit in a while. It’s the perfect counterpoint to GM’s perception-gap whining, giving ordinary folks a glimpse inside the manufacturing line while highlighting quality control improvements. Only the choice of hosts is bit confusing; sure, Mike Rowe is the Robin Leach of blue collar America, but why invite the comparisons to, say, sheep castration?

Edward Niedermeyer
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  • Lolcopterpilot Lolcopterpilot on Aug 26, 2009

    A couple points: --Perhaps I am being too critical. I guess the perception of arrogance in television advertisements is rather subjective. I've been looking for the specific ad online but can't find it anywhere, maybe it was pulled. I've seen it at least once or twice in the past few days, so it is a fairly recent ad. I still didn't care for the tone of the ad, but it was a rather subtle point. I don't know if it was or will be effective, just my two cents. --As for the pneumatic vs. DC drill video: who exactly is the audience for this web series? Gearheads like us who are parsing minute details about car manufacturing, or the mass consumer who just wants to know he isn't buying a costly lemon? I'm no engineer, but from the comments it sounds like there are benefits and drawbacks to the DC drill method. Areitu: You and others point out that design and engineering, and other factors such as management, can be more indicative of product quality than just looking at manufacturing quality control alone. I did not know that but it does make sense. Just by watching the videos, it isn't really clear why Ford chose one method over another, or more importantly, why this makes Ford's final product superior to the competition, and therefore more worthy of my hard-earned cash. guyincognito: Thanks for your post. Maybe your explanation is too nuanced for a 2 minute web video, but I still wonder: what was the point of the video at all if you're not going to make a strong point? Without some drive, some purpose, it's just a bunch of words that won't really make me more likely to buy the product--or feel anything about it. If the point was "we make quality cars," it seems poorly communicated to me. Daniel J. Stern: I still think, though, that it just seems less desperate and therefore more attractive, for a car company to win me over with a better product and a funny/insightful/attention-grabbing ad, rather than making me feel stupid for not knowing enough about the product. If the customer is wrong, a good salesman can still rip him off and make him feel good about it. One-upping the competition is necessary to survive in a cut-throat marketplace, but simply attacking alone seems counter-productive. I.e., your product should be the standard by which others are measured, not the other way around. On this count, in my opinion Ford has failed to convince me that they are the new standard-bearers of quality.

  • Daro31 Daro31 on Aug 27, 2009

    mfgreen40 : Can this system tell the difference between a properly totqued bolt and a crossed threaded one that locks up half way in? They can, they know how many degrees or turns if you like, the bolt has to make before reaching correct torque.

  • Lw Lw on Aug 27, 2009

    Ford is well positioned for when GM and Chrysler need the next bailouts. By then the US currency may be in serious trouble and anyone touching the precious little government money available will be decimated in the marketplace. I don't own any Ford stock, but I'm impressed with the focus (no pun intended) that they've maintained during the last 2 years of hell.

  • Noreserve Noreserve on Aug 27, 2009

    The spot is too long and boring. It shows us that Ford uses automation and computerized torque control for fastening bolts. I'm underwhelmed. Do they try to make a point that this Chicago plant for the Taurus is better than their competitors? The guy tightens a single bolt and it's supposed to be a dirty job? Maybe there are other segments that I haven't seen. I think it's great that Ford is seen as the domestic with a fighting chance, but I have always viewed their entire line-up in a similar way that I look at refrigerators at Sears. They have always had that god-awful appliance feel to their vehicles, both inside and out. Guess I need to go drive some of their recent wundercars and see how bad they are kicking Honda's ass. Grin on.