Botched Ford Explorer Launch Puts Pressure On Ford CEO


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Ford CEO Jim Hackett has been under pressure from investors due to his turnaround plans not working as quickly as injectors wanted. Bloomberg reports that the Ford CEO is under more pressure from investors now that Ford botched the launch of the 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.

The SUVs had such major problems that early on in their production, they were being shipped from the Chicago assembly plant to Flat Rock for undisclosed reasons. Word is that Ford workers were having to troubleshoot and apply fixes to the SUVs before they could be shipped to dealers. The issues also impacted the Lincoln Aviator and the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility.

Investors and analysts are unhappy with Hackett as issues with the important 2020 Ford Explorer, and its siblings were significant enough that sales for the new SUVs decline for the quarter. Analyst Jeff Schuster from LMC Automotive said that the Explorer “hit the mark” in design, styling, and content. He noted that if Ford can’t get the Explorer out the door, it put question marks on Hackett’s credibility and on the vehicle itself from a consumer standpoint.

Despite Ford shipping the Aviator to Flat Rock for fixes, some of them have still slipped out into the wild with major problems that have buyers regretting their purchase decision. Ford has recently stated that it is now shipping the Explorer directly from the Chicago assembly plant to dealers. Ford’s Mark LaNeve stated that dealers have adequate inventory to sell now, indicating that the downturn in sales was due to inventory issues.

Reports from unidentified Ford workers have claimed that many of the Explorers that have shipped directly to the dealers from Chicago have required repairs before they could be sold. The Chicago plant where the Explorer and its twins are built required a massive overhaul to build the new vehicles, and some are blaming the plant for the issues. Schuster says that Hackett and Ford have some explaining to do about how the factory issue became the problem it is.

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Source: Bloomberg

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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  1. As well it should be. He ought to be blasted if not more severe consequences. Someone dropped the ball in a big way. Many police departments are going to have to make sure their older cars will last a bit longer and the new AVIATIOR will not be in someone’s driveway yet as scheduled. Perhaps FORD ought to merge with BOEING since they both can’t seem to get their crap together as of late.

  2. What is going on with Ford in the US, only seems the other day the brand had half the cars in the top ten. Recalls…Focus door latches for Christ sake, go to Home Depot Isle 6. Escape, how many recall? Here we have the Kuga, bulletproof (my fourth). And now the Explorer .just as well it wasn’t this model in “Jurassic Part”, Richard Attenbourgh and Sam Neale would be no more. Has anyone Read the comparison in Car and Drive Explorer v Kia something..Ford lost…to a Kia for Pete’s sake. DT, Wales???????

  3. Did anyone proof read this article. Check out the spelling. BTW this is typical Ford. I have a few miles on me and I was a dealership mechanic when the the Tempo and Contour came out. They make the Explorer look good ! They didn’t go anywhere but to the dealerships. The Tempo wouldn’t run and the Contour was bursting into flames !!!!

  4. It all comes down to test, test and retest. When the schedule gets tight with engineering and manufacturing getting behind, the release date usually will not change much, so test gets the short end of the wheel! The money and marketing people really do not understand it. We all know what happened with the 737 MAX. Reports are coming out how test found problems but weren’t taking seriously and the bosses want just to ship on schedule, no delays, no money. Now it costing more than to redesign an entire new aircraft and the credibility of the company.

  5. Bring back Mulally!! Giving Japan a monopoly on sedans large and small. Is outrageous. Not since Nassar has this company lost sight of what consumers wanted. I will never buy a vehicle without that entry keyboard. I’ve already sold most of my stock. I’m a 30 year Ford retiree and a lock to buy it’s products. I loved my 2013 Focus and am angry I can’t get a economy car. I will NEVER buy an Asian vehicle so Chevy I am keeping my eye on you.

    • The Aviator has problems and now the Explorer.
      With the money these vehicles cost today, customers will not tolerate this.

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