Ford anticipates mixed performance for its new quality rankings

Article by Christian A., on June 2, 2011

Ford Motor Co. anticipates that when J.D. Power & Associates releases its new quality rankings on June 23, it may get a “mixed” performance. Last year, Ford was named the mainstream brand with the smallest number of defects by J.D. Power.

CEO Alan Mulally said that Ford knows that industry-leading quality will be the key to its success after several years of falling behind Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese competitors.

But in the last quarter, Ford missed quality targets due to defects in new models and glitches in high-tech, touch-screen dashboard controls. On May 31, Mulally talked to reporters in Washington.

He told them about the “few issues” with the newer technologies for its Sync and MyFordTouch, the voice-activated and touch-screen communication system in models like the Explorer.

He said that Ford is continuing to improve its system in line with the rapidly growing innovations in electronics. Ford wants to sustain the momentum that had enabled Ford to increase its market share and outperform Toyota in terms of U.S. sales in 2010.

One of the main complaints that Ford is currently addressing is the wind noise in its models. To remedy this, Ford is deploying $100 million of laser-guided robots in factories.

Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst at TrueCar.com, a Web site that tracks auto-sales trends, said that “improved quality” is necessary to revive the Ford brand. He said that its importance becomes clear when you take a look at how Ford has grown in the last two years.

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