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New Quality Study Show Ford is Second to None

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  • Ford catches Honda in initial quality, putting it in statistical tie at the top with Toyota and Honda.
  • Ford’s vehicle quality improved 8 percent versus last year.
  • Every new car and truck, including the 2008 Ford Focus, launched with improved quality versus its predecessor

When it comes to initial vehicle quality, no automaker performs better than Ford.

The quality of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles soared to the top of the charts equaling that of Toyota and Honda, according to the first quarter 2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System (GQRS) study conducted by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

The study shows Ford’s domestic brands improved 8 percent versus last year with a combined average of 1,284 things-gone-wrong (TGW) per 1,000 vehicles during the first three months of ownership. This performance is statistically equivalent to the 1,250 TGW level of Honda and Toyota.

“Last year we tied with Toyota, and this year our quality performance is as good as industry-leading Honda’s too,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Our world-class quality is one of the most important aspects of our turnaround in North America. This consistently strong quality improvement should offer today’s customer renewed confidence, setting the stage for important new products like Ford Flex, which is launching this summer.”

Ford’s dramatically improved vehicle quality will be highlighted in a sweeping new marketing campaign called “Drive One” that officially debuts Tuesday. The campaign tells the story behind Ford’s rise to the top of the industry in initial vehicle quality as well as underscoring safety, smart technology and improved fuel efficiency.

The company earned best-in-class honors in two important engineering functions: interiors, which includes such areas as trim, seats and instrument panel appearance; and electrical, which includes entertainment systems. Ford tied for best-in-class in two other functions, paint and vehicle engineering, which includes such areas as ride and handling and cabin quietness.

Additionally, Ford’s domestic brands pushed customer satisfaction up one point to 77 percent.

“There is an unprecedented level of teamwork at Ford. Everyone from the top floor to the plant floor is working together to deliver the highest quality vehicles for our customers,” said Bennie Fowler, Ford’s group vice president of Global Quality. “We are extremely proud to be among the industry’s quality leaders. But that’s not why we’re in the game. We want sole possession of first place, and we will keep working to earn it.”

A total for 15 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury vehicles are ranked in the top three of their respective segments for either TGW performance, customer satisfaction or both.

The following models are segment leaders:

  • Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 – TGW for sports car
  • Ford Taurus – customer satisfaction for large car
  • Ford Sport Trac – customer satisfaction for medium traditional utility
  • Mercury Milan – TGW for midsize car
  • Lincoln Navigator – TGW and customer satisfaction for large premium utility

The new 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable both recorded quality levels that equate to less than one problem per vehicle, as did the Volvo S80 (947). The Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ were close, with 1,030 TGW and 1065 TGW, respectively.

The Taurus also led a string of impressive new vehicles launched in 2007. Taurus showed a
33 percent quality improvement compared with the product it replaced. The new Ford Escape improved 16 percent over the out-going model, and the new Ford Focus improved 13 percent.

In fact, 36 of 40 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda nameplates improved this year versus 2007.

The 2008 first quarter U.S. GQRS study, which RDA Group conducts for Ford, asks customers of all major makes and models to comment on troubles and rate their overall satisfaction with their three-month-old vehicles. The survey includes vehicles registered from September 2007 through November 2007.

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New Quality Study Show Ford is Second to None
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