If you think your new Ford is the best car ever made, you are not alone. In a new survey conducted for Ford by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., 84 per cent of customers who purchased 2010 model-year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks are satisfied with the quality of their vehicle. That’s a four percentage point improvement since the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the first quarter Global Quality Research System (GQRS) study. Details were released April 19.
According to the study, the improvement means Ford’s customer satisfaction scores are now significantly higher than all other full-line automotive manufacturers, including Asian and European automakers.
The study also showed Ford has the fewest number of vehicle defects or “things gone wrong” (TGW) among all full-line manufacturers in the first three months of ownership. Owners of 2010 model Ford, Lincoln and Mercury reported 1,107 TGWs per 1,000 vehicles -- an eight per cent improvement over last year.
“To become the No. 1 automaker in terms of customer satisfaction with vehicle quality is amazing accomplishment and testament to the whole company’s commitment to quality,” said Bennie Fowler, Ford group vice-president of Global Quality. “All the third parties studies are showing the same thing -- Ford now has world-class quality.”
As Ford’s quality has improved, the company says, it has reduced warranty repair rates on vehicles in their first three months of service by an average of more than 40 per cent in the past three years in every major business region around the world.
“Ford has proven its commitment to quality by demonstrating steady improvements through consistency and discipline,” said Donald Pietrowski, RDA Group president. “Those improvements are clearly reflected in rising customer satisfaction with its products.”
Ford captured eight segment leaders in customer satisfaction, TGW or both. Notably, Fusion Hybrid owners now report 93 per cent satisfaction with the quality of their vehicle while 92 per cent of Taurus owners are satisfied.
Models topping their segments for satisfaction were the Taurus, Fusion Hybrid and Focus, while the Milan Hybrid and Mountaineer were TGW leaders. Three vehicles were deemed best in both catagories: the Expedition, Navigator and Ranger.
These gains in quality have also contributed to a 23 per cent year-over-year improvement in the resale values of Ford vehicles with one to five years on the road -- outpacing the industry average by four percentage points.
"While we are proud of the progress we’ve made, we know how important it is to keep the momentum going," said Fowler. "We can never be satisfied."
The GQRS study is conducted on a quarterly basis with scores assessed from survey responses collected from owners of vehicles purchased within specific time frames.
New vehicle owners are asked to report any defects or issues as well as rate their satisfaction with vehicle quality on a scale of 1 to 10 across an array of vehicle systems and features.