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Ford Happy With New Vehicle Quality Despite Bronco, Mach-E Delays

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After several problems plagued the launch of the 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, Ford CEO Jim Farley pledged to improve new vehicle quality and reduce warranty costs moving forward, as well as ensure smooth new vehicle launches.

New Bronco

Despite this, the automaker has been forced to delay the launch of the 2021 Ford Bronco and most recently issued a stop-ship on the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. Regardless, the automaker insists that it is pleased with its recent launches and new vehicle quality.

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“Because we did online reservations, and we took them very early in the process, our ability to really forecast a delivery date wasn’t very precise,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s vice president of product development and purchasing, told Automotive News.

Bronco Trim Levels

“We’ve had to go back to those customers to adjust the timing based on how things are going,” Thai-Tang added. “Overall we’ve been very happy with the launches so far. If you think about this last year, we had three big launches, and we hit all of those launch dates and ramp volume curves pretty much to plan after we adjusted for the COVID shutdown.”

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Additionally, Thai-Tang noted that the thousands of 2021 Ford F-150 models spotted sitting around Detroit and Kansas City in recent weeks are not related to the vehicle’s launch but are a normal part of the automaker’s build-and-hold process.

Thai-Tang blamed the Mach-E delay on a supplier issue, similar to the one facing the Ford Bronco, which was caused by problems from Webasto, which supplies roofs for the SUV. “In both cases, they’re complex issues with tools that were installed with overseas support,” he said. “It was complicated by COVID absenteeism, but we’re on the right path.”

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Ultimately, Thai-Tang noted that the initial quality of the 2021 F-150 and Mach-E seems promising, based on early metrics. “We have connected-vehicle data now, so we’re able to see in real-time some of the initial-quality results,” he said. “So far the run rate at zero months in service, we’re seeing about 45 percent lower quality claims this year than the same period last year. It’s another proof point the process is working.”

Thai-Tang also said that Ford will continue offering online ordering for vehicles moving forward, and noted that it has not seen a considerable drop in reservations following the Bronco and Mach-E delays. “That’s becoming the norm,” Thai-Tang said. “You can order something on Amazon, and they’ll tell you exactly where it is. I think that’s something the customers are going to expect with their interactions with automotive OEMs as well.”

We’ll have more on Ford’s new vehicle launches soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, Ford Bronco news, Mustang Mach-E news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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4 Comments

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  1. Manufacturers measure quality by field defects. Which is what the Ford rep was referencing with the 0 months in service (0 MIS) metric. 0 MIS means defects the dealer finds before the sale. They will also measure amount of defects at different time intervals after customer takes delivery (1 MIS, 2 MIS, 6 MIS, etc). So if there’s a ship hold from the factory, or a production delay due to a quality issue, that does not affect the metrics as it hasn’t reached the dealer/customer yet.

  2. Would be nice if FORD committed to customers and one style of vehicle then trying to launch 3 and deliver none. Especially the Bronco which has been promised for so long and now more delays. Some of us will have to wait another year for our order which brings it to a 2 year wait. Even with COVID FORD should not promise what they can’t deliver. Many people fed up and going to other manufacturers.

  3. The large number of Bronco Sports (BS) being shipped from Mexico, all the way through the US to MI, prior to being shipped back to those states they were shipped through is weird, to say the least. Maybe a ford exec is getting a little $$$$ from the shippers, double shipping is expensive. Or, could it be the quality of the mexican made BS is troublesome, and is requiring another quality check, fix before shipping deal???? I don’t think we’re going to find out. I wonder if Mr. Thai-Tang is going to be commenting on the chinese made 7speed manual that is going into the bronco, if any are ever actually built.

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