Top Ten FORD and LINCOLN MERCURY success stories in quality and customer satisfaction
Ford Motor Company vehicles are making dramatic strides in quality and outpacing the industry’s rate of improvement for the third straight year, according to the latest U.S. Global Quality Research System (GQRS) study conducted for Ford by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
The 2007 second quarter GQRS study asked customers of all major makes and models to comment on troubles and rate their overall satisfaction with their three-month-old vehicles. Ford Motor Company improved by 10 percent over last year, while the report’s average improvement rate hit 4 percent. In addition, 19 Ford Motor Company models ranked in the report’s top three places for customer satisfaction, improvements in “Things Gone Wrong” (TGWs), or both categories after three months in service.
The GQRS report is the latest of several recent third-party assessments to demonstrate Ford’s commitment to quality. Following are highlights from the study:
1. Quality on the Rise – Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands had an impressive performance in the recent GQRS study, improving by 144 “Things Gone Wrong” (TGWs) per 1,000 vehicles to 1,419 – or 1.419 defects per vehicle. This score positions Ford and Lincoln Mercury within a fraction of one problem per vehicle (.057) to Toyota. The survey average for TGW performance was 1.447 problems per vehicle. In addition, Ford and Lincoln Mercury’s customer satisfaction rating climbed 2 percentage points to 75 percent.
2. Ford Has Edge Over Competition – Ford’s hot-selling Edge crossover has not only quickly established itself in the marketplace – it leads its segment in customer satisfaction, according to the newly released GQRS study. Among the areas rated most highly by customers were exterior styling, handling on the highway and seat comfort. J.D. Power and Associates ranked the Ford Edge the top performing all-new vehicle in its 2007 APEAL study and also recognized it with honors in its Initial Quality Study. Edge also has earned a “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
3. Newly Launched Products Deliver Great Customer Satisfaction – Ford Motor Company’s newest vehicles – including the Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln Navigator L – are delivering award-winning customer satisfaction, and have launched with considerably fewer Things Gone Wrong than the industry average, according to the GQRS study. The survey shows Navigator L has launched with the highest level of vehicle quality satisfaction among Ford and Lincoln Mercury models.
4. Mid-Size Sedans Trump Seasoned Rivals – The award-winning Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ continue to sustain the high quality levels they’ve demonstrated since launching in late 2004. Milan and Fusion garnered second- and third-place finishes in TGW reductions in the GQRS study, outperforming Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Meanwhile, Lincoln MKZ, rated third in its segment, bested Lexus ES350, Cadillac CTS, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ also were singled out recently by J.D. Power and Associates as segment leaders in the 2007 Initial Quality Study, with Fusion earning recognition as well.
5. Ford Shelby GT500 Sets Quality Standard for Sports Cars – The most powerful factory built Mustang in history, the Ford Shelby GT500, blows away the competition with segment leading quality. According to results from the recent GQRS study, Shelby GT500 owners report the fewest troubles among Sports Car owners after three months of ownership. The Shelby GT500’s steering, drivetrain, and idle quality were noted as having the fewest troubles compared to the competition.
6. Lincoln Mark LT Scores Top Truck Quality Honors Again– Truck owners report the Lincoln Mark LT leads the light duty full-size pickup segment in having the fewest troubles, according to the GQRS survey for the second quarter. “Things Gone Wrong” have been fully eliminated in speed control, exhaust system function and interior trim. Lincoln Mark LT owners taking part in the survey noted significant TGW reductions in squeaks and rattles, seating, and automatic transmission shifting. The Lincoln Mark LT also led its segment in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2007 Initial Quality Study.
7. E-Series Earns Quality Laurels – The Ford E-Series has earned its reputation as the backbone of America’s work force. Now, the full-size van leader for the past 28 years is also the segment leader when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to the GQRS study. Customers taking part in the study noted significant improvements in the E-Series’ security features, temperature control and audio system. In addition to demonstrating outstanding initial quality, the E-Series also distinguishes itself in long-term durability as the industry’s longest lasting van. R.L. Polk & Co., the leading provider of automotive market data, has certified that Ford has four times more full-size vans on the road with 250,000 miles or more than any other competitor.
8. Full-Size SUVS Add More Accolades – The Ford Expedition earned a second-place distinction in the recent GQRS study for reducing “Things Gone Wrong,” while the Lincoln Navigator came in third for its TGW and customer satisfaction performance. The Expedition posted its tenth straight month of higher sales in June. The Expedition EL recently was recognized as a Total Quality Award winner in Strategic Vision’s 2007 Total Quality Index. Navigator has earned AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award as the top luxury sport utility vehicle.
9. Another Reason to Choose Explorer – The Ford Explorercontinues to deliver confidence as well as outstanding quality. It outpaced the Toyota 4-Runner, Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Nissan Pathfinder to lead its segment in improving “Things Gone Wrong,” according to the recently released GQRS study. Customers noted significant improvements in powertrain sound and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), automatic transmission shifting, engine cooling and fuel filling and delivery. Mercury Mountaineer took second-place honors in the category.
10. Ford, Lincoln Mercury Lead Individual Vehicle Functions – Ford and Lincoln Mercury charted best-in-class results in electrical functions, according to the GQRS study. The three brands also matched Toyota’s performance in “Things Gone Wrong” over a three-month period in body interior, chassis and vehicle engineering.
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