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http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080407/clm057.html?.v=101

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.


DEARBORN, Mich., April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 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 1,065 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.
 

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I applaud Ford for the TOTAL commitment to quality. This is a nice start, but it will take a decade of continued improvement at Ford for there to be a change in perception. I wish GM were committed to really doing more than paying lipservice to TOTAL QUALITY. GM talks a good game, but its indifferent assembly is really a problem that even I, as an AVERAGE JOE, can spot in parking lots, at stop lights, and at autoshows. GM may have improved the quality of components going into its vehicles, but its assembly line workers are indifferent at best when it comes to putting these vehicles together. Unlike Ford which spends as much time designing a car to look good AND easy to assemble, I am afraid GM designs first and then tries to figure out how to assemble it afterwards - it shows - really shows even on the newest GM vehicles.

GM needs to step up. They are no longer the leader in much and they are in need of management who cares more about the product than it does about spinning the product.
 

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VCDJ, it's getting really old. Don't come on a GM site trying to start arguments. If at some point you have something constructive to say, say it... we don't stop people from sharing their point of view if it adds to the discussion. 9 times out of 10 (if not 99 out of 100) you're aim is to upset GM fans, and it adds nothing to the site.
 

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I can't really comment on most Ford products because I haven't seen many of the new models, but I recently had a new Focus rental, and the build quality didn't strike me as anything special. No better than a similarly equipped Cobalt. The dash was kind of wierd and not the easiest to use/understand, and there were some loud rattles coming from the rear (trunk?). Also, the guages were hard to read and I found myself constantly trying to "figure out" what speed I was going. Not to say it was a piece of junk--the engine was very impressive in terms of performance and fuel economy, and it looks much better than the previous generation--but the Mazda 3 I had a month ago was much more impressive. Although, I cannot speak to the build quality of either model so maybe that is what I'm missing.
 

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I have an 07 fusion, got it because i had a lemon 06 hyundai tiburon. I love the fusion, not a single issue with it since i got it in august. It looks sharp, soft touch materials, the 4 cyl had adequate thrust, but the economy isn't spectacular. I average about 24mpg, all highway is around 30, all city is 21-22. I'll have no issue getting another ford when my lease expires.
 

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If Mazda is included with these figures then I can definitely state that quality and reliability among Ford products is getting very good. My wife's Mazda 3s (2004) has only had the fuel pump go out within 77,000 miles (4 years). It's been a great vehicle for her.
 

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Great news............I'm a Mustang guy, but a loyal GM buyer. My 2001 Mustang BULLITT has had a new transmission and a new fuel pump in the first 5000 miles. The TRemec 5spd was replaced or rebuilt in most of the 01-03 Stangs. I love my Mustang, baby it as a show car, but it has been a disappointment.
Of course my 2008 Envoy has already had the computer changed at 4500 miles and I will soon be returning to the dealer to repair the passenger window motor. My 07 Impala has had the rotors turned at 500 miles to take the shake rattle and roll out of the steering wheel!
 

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While Ford is definitely improving don't put too much faith in this press release. Read the small print:
"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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I've told dozens of people about my positive experiences with my Ford Focus. I bought it new in 2004 and it didn't give me even a hiccup in the 3 years I owned it. Same with my wife's new '04 Focus and her used '01. Ford builds great product it's just a bit bland. :p
 

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While Ford is definitely improving don't put too much faith in this press release. Read the small print:
"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."
So Ford asked an independant group to consult owners on the quality of their vehicles... would you prefer Ford themselves do it? How else is a manufacturer supposed to conduct a survey of vehicle quality if they want to know?

Frankly, I don't believe ANY auto brand sells pieces of junk these days, but we should definitely commend Bill Ford for this. It was HIS efforts after becoming president that led to these quality improvements.

Granted, some Ford products may have somewhat chintzy materials used in the interior, but they are assembled tight as a drum and are very reliable.

Now... let's see some performance products NOT named Mustang.
 

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i doubt they send quality surveys to rental fleets... which seems to be where most Ford cars end up. when Ford's back to beating up the Camry with Taurus sales i might put a little more stock in something like this. right now the only best seller Ford's got is the F-Series, and with gas prices heading quickly toward $4.00+ per gallon, that may not be enough to keep them going.
 

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Thats great news. Now all they need is some nice eye candy and a little help from the media. Might be a good time to buy some Ford stock as I think they are ripe for a comeback!
+1 I agree but the main obstacles are: the dealer service who give the final nail on the coffin if we judge we have a "good" or "bad" car and....the media. Once these obstacles resolved, Ford is back with a vengeance!
 

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Hey, the excuse to buy foreign nameplates to get a better quality vehicle has all but dried up!
Yes and No.

Almost all of these studies that show GM and Ford ranked highly against Toyota and Honda are based on initial quality studies and not long term quality. Many consumers doubt the quality of GM and Ford will compare well over the long haul. Plus, one study isn't going to change many people's mind. The fact that it was commissioned by Ford and tested vechiles over a very short period of time is far from a game changer.

Doesn't matter to me anyway. I'll be dead before I buy a foreign car.
 
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