Ford sales and market share rise despite dive in quality ratings

Article by Anita Panait, on November 4, 2013

Ford Motor Co.’s innovations have been the primary reason why the US carmaker’s sales and market share gains are outgrowing its rivals; however, its My Touch infotainment system has been cited as the main cause of its low quality ratings. Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, is tasked to resolve this dilemma.

This carmaker wants to position itself as a technology leader in the automotive industry and considers connectivity features as key to its 21st century DNA. While it is true that those features are attracting new customers, they are also causing the carmaker to tank in quality surveys. Hinrichs told Automotive News in an interview last week that there is a correlation between “freshness of the product lineup and market share.”

He remarked that Ford has chosen to keep its lineup very fresh, which means “more frequent launches, more technology, more newness” to the vehicle. He said that this “inherently provides more challenges for the quality surveys.” 

He, however, said that he is not pleased with where they are, adding that they need to make progress. According to the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey, the Ford and the Lincoln brands were ranked 26th and 27th out of 28 brands.

The magazine attributed the low rankings on the My Touch system -- branded as MyFord Touch in Ford vehicles and MyLincoln Touch in Lincoln vehicles. Ford, however, still posted a 12-percent surge in sales in the first 10 months of 2013 and gained up 0.5 percent in market share through October. According to Hinrichs, Ford underestimated how many customers would choose the My Touch and Sync systems.

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