Ford Ripped for Pickup Quality

Ford admits it has a product quality issue it will fix. This is not going well, at least in recent reports. (These are the best- and worst-built cars in America.)

According to Reuters, “As part of a new approach to stamping out quality demons, Kentucky Truck Plant manager Joseph Closurdo said he stopped production for as long as three days earlier this year.” The product with the trouble was the Super Duty pickup, on which Ford can make a small fortune.

Unfortunately, it took assembly line workers to find the problem. It should have been detected earlier by product and engineering management. Another setback was caused because they did not do their jobs.

Ford Authority exemplifies how the media manhandles Ford for quality problems. Its reporters wrote that plant management “shut down Ford Super Duty production for periods as long as three days earlier this year, which allowed 300 quality inspectors, suppliers, and engineers to fix faulty parts that workers discovered while assembling the refreshed pickup using cameras stationed all over the plant.” Three hundred is a lot of people.

Ford’s new production problem is one in a long line of similar issues. These have included other pickup products, particularly Ford’s new F-150 Lightning, which suffered from engine fires. Ford management has pointed out that other car manufacturers have fire problems. That is hardly a reasonable excuse. Ford either makes quality products or it doesn’t.

Ford’s recent earnings showed its financial health is solid and should be for the balance of the year. However, it is in uncharted water as it pushes further into the electric vehicle future. With heavy competition in this arena, the company cannot afford more mistakes.

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