FORD LEADS INDUSTRY IN PERCEIVED QUALITY GAINS AS PERCEPTION CATCHES UP TO REALITY
DEARBORN, Mich., May 14, 2010 – Ford Motor Company achieved the largest gain of any automaker in Automotive Lease Guide’s latest Perceived Quality Score, bringing customer perceptions more in line with Ford’s improved vehicle quality.
Ford this month was ranked as the most improved brand in the ALG study, showing a 7.6 percent improvement since fall 2009, building on gains over the past two years. Improving perceptions of Ford’s quality has been a key driver behind Ford’s recent market share gains and improving resale value.
“We have made huge strides in vehicle quality in recent years but customer perceptions don’t change overnight – so it is gratifying to see our real-world improvements begin to fully register with consumers,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president, Global Marketing. “The benefits of improved perception of quality are huge – from market share to residual values and purchase considerations.”
ALG noted that Ford residuals have seen a “huge upswing.” Ford’s average residual gained $2,420 (January-June 2010 residual guides) compared to the year-ago period; the average brand change was about $615.
“Ford’s goals have been supported by an entire portfolio of all-new or redesigned products that have been well-received both in the marketplace and among automotive critics,” said Matt Traylen, chief economist for ALG.
ALG said Ford’s improvement in perceived quality likely can be traced to several factors:
- Ford has improved its vehicle quality and launched well-received new products
- Ford avoided bankruptcy and a taxpayer bailout unlike its domestic competitors
- Ford limited brand-damaging incentive spending and daily rental fleet sales
ALG noted in particular that the new Ford Taurus and Fiesta have been well received by the press and public.
“Customers want to see that you can be reliable in your quality month after month, year after year,” Farley said. “Demonstrating steady improvements in initial and long-term durability over time is helping us close the gap between perception and reality.”
# # #
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 176,000 employees and about 80 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and, until its sale, Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.