Ford Hit With Poor Quality Rating

Ford CEO Jim Farley keeps saying he wants to fix the company’s quality problems. He says it will take several years. He better hurry up. “Fixing quality is my No. 1 priority. It is the most important initiative in the whole company. And it’s going to take several years. We didn’t lose it in just one or two years. Until we fix quality, nothing else matters,” he said recently. Yet, Ford and Lincoln finished near the bottom of a major car quality survey. (Click here for the most fuel-efficient new trucks this year.)

The J.D. Power released its U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study 2023 edition last week. The survey examines 184 potential problems across nine categories: “climate; driving assistance; driving experience; exterior; features/controls/displays; infotainment; interior; powertrain; and seats.” As has been the case in the past, drivers do not like complex electronics, which tends to bring down scores.

J.D. Power ranked 31 brands based on problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average was 186. For comparison purposes, the top brand was Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, which posted 133 problems per 100 vehicles. Lincoln was second from the bottom with 259 per 100. Ford was fourth from the bottom at 249.

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It is worth keeping in mind that Lincoln is a luxury brand. People pay more money for a high-end car. With Lincoln, they do not get one. And Lincoln’s sales are barely mediocre. It trails Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Audi in the American market.

The fact that Ford says it can fix its quality issues in a few years is a feeble excuse. It means management does not think it can turn around Ford’s most basic function. That is, it cannot make a good car. Period.

Ford’s problems mean customers should steer clear of its cars and trucks and investors should steer clear of its shares.

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