Ford Motor Company just erased any doubt regarding quality in the American auto industry. J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study (IQS) was just released and revealed that domestic brands, as a whole, can boast of higher initial quality than their foreign counterparts for the first time in the study’s 24-year history. Ford Motor Company led the resurgence.
Ford positioned it’s self for the resurgence by making sound decisions before the current economic downturn hit. The hiring of CEO, Alan Mulally, was a pivotal move for Ford. He was able to cut costs, put money in the bank and avoid taking a government bailout, unlike the other American automakers. This in turn gave Mr. Mulally the money needed to not only restructure the company, but to develop better automobiles like the Fusion and Taurus.
Ford’s gamble has paid off, as it is now the highest-ranked mass-market automaker in initial quality. For the first time ever, Ford moved into the list of top five brands in overall quality. Additionally, Ford has 12 models that rank within the top three in their respective IQS segments, which is more than any other carmaker in the J.D. Power and Associates study. Of these 12 models, Ford captured top honors in three segments with the Focus, Mustang, and Taurus. No other automaker can claim more than two of the study’s top honors.
“Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily improving vehicle quality, particularly since 2007, “ says David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. Sargent goes on to say that despite these great strides in vehicle quality, the consumer perception of the American auto has not yet caught up to reality. “Achieving quality comparability is the first half of the battle; convincing consumers – particularly import buyers – that they have done this is the second half.” Ford Motor Company continues to crank out vehicles that are high on quality, style, and fuel efficiency. It won’t be long before the hearts and minds of these consumers are converted considering all of the accolades that keep pouring in for Ford. Earlier this year, the 2010 Fusion was named Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Transit Connect was named 2010 North American Truck of the Year (see more stories on the Transit Connect ). The 2011 Fiesta was named MSN’s number one car under $15,000 (see MSN Fiesta story).
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