Informative Post about builds, holds, and shipping - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Informative Post about builds, holds, and shipping

This was posted over at The Mustang Source by OAC_Sparky. It is good information for all those concerned about their cars location and how they're built.

This was addressing the issue of the lack of information available from Ford to its customers. Specifically, JonnyB being shut down.

Viperpilot (referred to below) is on BlueOvalNews but not sure if he exists here or TMS. He's definitely an "in the know" guy.

So take a seat, get a cup of coffee, a beer, water, whatever suits you and learn a little along the way.

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The problem isn't "hiding information" per se. The problem is that the employees that are accessing the system are in fact violating the Corporate Confidentiality Agreement that are agreeing to every time they log into a Ford Computer.

Sometimes, people tend bend the rules because in their hearts they want to help -- they're loyal employees and car enthusiasts themselves. But when there is a rather widespread issue (like the Mustang holds now, the Mustang delays in '05, the Hybrid Escape holds a while back), rumors start flying, conjecture is made, accusations happen; and what happens is the extra attention (both negative and positive) draws the interest of upper management.

And what happens is that some poor schmuck gets his job threatened because as far as Ford is concerned, giving out tracking dates is no different than publishing wholesale pricing lists, etc. It's a breach of your employment conditions.

This is precisely why Viperpilot stopped tracking vehicles. There was a quality/certification hold on the Hybrid Escapes/Mariners and people started getting accusatory that Ford was holding them to let incentives date, etc which is a load of BS. But a few of these became persistant in their accusations, calling Ford corporate threatening to sue. (Word to the unenlightened ~~ if you really want reasonable resolution with a company, be careful with throwing around the word "lawsuit". Once it is mentioned most times it becomes a Corporate legal matter and nobody at a lower level will help you. ie don't threaten it unless you mean it.) So he was forced to stop all tracking -- the service became too hot. I'm sure you all understand that a guy's job and family comes before just helping people out.

Now, if I may, I'm going to impart some knowledge to some of you that aren't really familiar with the order and build process (and those that think they are but are not). This is coming from someone with nearly 25 years with the company, in production and in maintaining the equipment.

[1] When Ford builds a new or largely revamped car (which the '11 Mustangs are with 2 new drivetrains), Ford will do a small prebuild sometimes only by hand with a small number of production specialist and engineers to work through any bugs in either design or build process. Once things seem to be worked out, they usually do a "batch integrated build" where during the '10 model year they run a batch of '11s and then go back to '10s. More bugs are worked out. But it still isn't a full production run. The whole process repeats itself in preparation of the Job 1 date; and this is also happening at all the suppliers as well.

Once Job 1 comes and they start running in earnest, they ramp up production; but vehicles are put on quality hold until you have 3 days of zero defects. After this happens, then all the units (after any repairs or adjustments of course) are released. This can be a delay of a few weeks -- and dealers should be more forthcoming about this when accepting preorders.

[2] In a assembly plant, every worker has a job -- but this might not be the same job on every car. Some models may involve more work than others (for example an empty cargo van would be easier to build than a decked out passenger van). So what the plant has to do is settle on a "blend rate" to best distribute not only workload but what the supplier can provide. So if the set blend is ie 60/35/5% V6/GT/Shelby, they order parts from suppliers in that ratio. If one part runs low or the supplier has a production hiccup, if the part can be put on later (ie an a-pillar), they will continue to build the cars then store them so when the shipments come in the cars can be completed.

Now, keep in mind that suppliers size their manufacturing capacity to their demand -- it's logical business sense. But when they do get behind, not only do they have to make up past losses but they still have to build for current production as well. As unfair as it sounds, the assembly plant just can't stop production to give ALL the parts to waiting cars -- they would be losing money on all the cars if they did. So the delay for this can also take weeks to catch up and fit out the waiting cars.

[3] Just a quick note on dealer allocation and build order. No, it's not a perfect system. And no, it's not always fair. And yes, I wish there was a better system. But it's an attempt, believe it or not, at fairness.

Imagine, the day the '11 order banks open, some dealer in Ohio puts in 100 Mustang orders and it your dealer was having internet problems and got your order in last. Maybe your car wouldn't get built for a long time. That isn't fair either -- some dealer in Ohio selling Mustangs on eBay while you can't get one.

So what Ford tries to do, is give allocation based on past sales history (although it seems like favoritism), so that even small dealers can take a kick at the can. Now, generally speaking, customer orders are given a better priority code than dealer orders -- but you still have to consider BLEND (above). If the blend is still 5% Shelbys that STILL means that 19 "other" Mustangs will be built before you even get one shot at it. And keep in mind that ALL options have a blend rate -- whether its V6 vs GT, Shaker vs EP, Auto vs stick. Dealers order a "rapid spec" which is not only a good balance of options to have on the lot, but also a "sweet spot" as far as blend goes too. THAT's why it seems that some dealers seem to get their lot stock while you're waiting.

-------------

So finally, I want to impress a few last points. Ford doesn't want people waiting for their cars. Metal sitting in a yard somewhere isn't bringing in Ford money. Ford wants to move the car just as much as you want to receive it, so they can move onto the next sale. Believe me on this.

The good news is that Ford is attempting to temper the desire to move cars with building quality cars. If the past is any indication, it's a much easier route to just say "good enough" and ship it and let the dealership and customer deal with it. We want you to be happy with your purchases, and would rather see a delay to give you the perfect car than rush you something less than perfect.

Yes, the wait sucks, been there, done that. I'm buying a late '11 early '12 myself, but I'm aiming to get it for NEXT summer, I'll be ordering in January/February/March because I'm in no hurry and I want to get the best incentives I can.

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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how long does conveyance mechanical failure usually delay delivery if you know?


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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Very informative post, thank you for sharing.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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Nicely put. I would rather they wait and do the job right. All of the extra waiting will be forgotten about after you get into your new car. Memories of issues with the car (and the inconvenience of fixing them) don't go away so easily.

Ford is doing the right thing. Maybe they could communicate better, but that's another topic.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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The same thing happend when there was a guy tracking the 05's at the Blue Oval website. That is how I tracked mine.

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how long does conveyance mechanical failure usually delay delivery if you know?
Depends on when it is fixed.




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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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man just my luck for the darn train to break! hopefully there are good train mechanics in michigan!

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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Very informative post. I want my car but I also want it bug free. If that means waiting a little longer, no worries. I do hate the fact that Ford drops the hammer on guys that simply want to help. If Ford CS helped as much as Jonny did, we would not be having so many rumors flying and frustration mounting. I hope he got off with a tap on the hand and then a pat on the back for helping Ford customers.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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[quote=Old Shadow;2106785]Very informative post. I want my car but I also want it bug free. If that means waiting a little longer, no worries.quote]

I agree...I've had 5 trouble-free Mustang years, first with an 05 GT and then an 07 GT....

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010
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Thank you for the information. I figure they put out good cars so it must be a quality thing. I suppose this info may be in wiki or something but its nice that a Ford guy said something.
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Is Ford still planning to cut the 2nd shift (900 workers) at the the Mustang plant on July 1st and speeding-up the assembly line 35% to compensate?

Seems if they are having some build-issues/parts problems cranking up the line speed and rushing the workers doesn't seem like the best idea from a quality standpoint.

Ford Cuts 900 Jobs At Mustang Plant

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This post is very informative!However someone in FORD upper management should have a little talk with some or most of their dealers!

Most of this CRAP could have been completely avoided if the dealer themselves stayed informed.The fact is that most apparently aren't & therefore neither were their customers.Either that or they are just LAZY!I think it might be the latter!

Everyone here knows that the dealers have the same info that JonnyB was providing.CS also has that info but in most cases refused to give it to the customer.For some reason though some dealers kept their customers very informed & some didn't.

It may be wrong that the Mustang fans are so demanding but it's something that the dealer should know & learn to deal with!

As far as FORD goes i know they are making sure their cars are of a high quality & i applaud them for that!

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Quote:
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Everyone here knows that the dealers have the same info that JonnyB was providing.CS also has that info but in most cases refused to give it to the customer.For some reason though some dealers kept their customers very informed & some didn't.
Yep. This has to be fixed. I suggest sending all the bad dealers to Area 51 for 3 months.
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My issue has never been the release date of the cars, (ok I want mine as bad as the next guy) but I've said it before and I'll say it again, my issue with Ford is the lack of COMMUNICATION! Tell us what's going wrong. We didn't put money down on a car to not be in the know......I want if fixed, but I also want to know what's going on and why the hold up. Its really not that hard to talk about. I understand that Quality is Job 1. But I also know from a PR standpoint that having no communication and letting the rumors run wild is WORSE in most cases than saying, "Ya know we had an issue, but we're getting it fixed and we know you'll love your car as much as we do, so that's why we are taking the time to get it right!" This shows character, and a commitment to quality. Anything less makes you and your customers question it, and I guess its something that their PR department has either never learned or has forgotten about......

Don't get me wrong, I'm not cancelling my orders, but its the lack of communication and commitment in talking with your customers is what has me upset more than anything that COULD be wrong with the cars. I just want someone to talk to me about whats wrong with my vehicle and what they are doing to make it right.....

My wife's first Mustang was hit ON THE LOT before we bought the car. We knew it was repaired right, we had it looked over with a fine tooth comb just to make sure, but it was right and thats why we still bought it. So don't get me wrong, we are all human and mistakes happen, but don't keep it from me. It makes the situation worse than it already is. Just like this car, it happens but you told us about it and made it right. That was true character by the salesman.Thats the reason I bought my Mustang from him. I wish he was still working for that dealer cause I would have bought from him again this time around too.

As my father, who was in the car business for over 40 years said, "When you have an issue, man up. Its about character and not holding back. Man up to what's going wrong, fix it, and tell the customer." He sold everything from Honda's to being a part of the GM Legion of Leaders, a Chevy Dealer ( I know, he still tells me to buy Ford lol), and a Ford, Lincoln, Mecury General Sales Manager. I grew up in the Dealer Business. Common Sales Sense tells you not to withhold this kind of informaiton from your customer.

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Good info.

One note about dealers- We are indeed often the last to know about these issues. The car I originally ordered in 2/10 was, as of today, still sitting. I've emailed our Zone rep, and the Mustang Brand Manager, and was given the same info you have.... There is a quality hold, and that they hope to ship all the cars on hold by 6/20. That's it, nothing more. Don't think we are holding back, we want to sell them as much as everyone wants to buy them!

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They can't always go in detail on telling what is wrong because of the competition. But just saying "your car has been checked by our folks at Quality Control and our reputable engineers want to ensure you get the best experience with your new car. After careful consideration we have decided to put your vehicle on hold. We sincerely apologize for the delay. We, at Ford, want the best customer experience, blah blah blah".

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