There comes a time when apologizing isn’t enough, and for Ford that time is now.
The brand is rethinking it’s launch strategy after problems with cars including the new Ford Escape required early recalls and qualiy-related delays crippled the Lincoln MKZ launch schedule.
On the consumer side, Lincoln was left trying to pacify unhappy customers with pre-orders in place for the new MKZ sedan including offering $100 dinner gift cards.
“We’ve done a complete analysis,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, told Automotive News, “on lessons learned in the last couple of years, including the recent MKZ launch, and are now incorporating a number of changes in our development and new-model launch process.”
While the changes will affect dealers more directly than consumers, the end result will presumably translate to an improved customer experience.
Among the changes, Ford says it will conduct monthly launch reviews including quality comparisons against competing vehicles. The maker is also hiring engineers and assigning them to supplier plants to keep track of them and monitor their ability to keep pace with vehicle launches. Finally, technology including 3D computer simulations will be used more to find potential problems earlier.
Ford’s ambitious launch schedule crowded the market, and while the new product array is serving to boost sales numbers, it overwhelmed production.
“We’ve gone through some growing pains getting those new processes and plants launched, and we’ve learned a lot from that,” Hinrichs said.
[Source: Automotive News]
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