Product Quality and Customer Satisfaction
When customers purchase a new vehicle, they expect a high-quality product and an exceptional experience. That’s why continually working to improve quality remains a top priority for all Ford employees.
Managing Product Development
Our product development process always starts with the customer: understanding who they are, how they live and what they value in a vehicle. Then we identify the technologies and innovations that will meet those evolving needs and expectations, and implement them in our product cycle plan. Engineers, designers and product marketing teams work together to finalize a vehicle concept and, once approved, it is brought to market using our Global Product Development System (GPDS), which combines the best production methods from across our global operations.
GPDS also provides common milestones and metrics to increase efficiency and quality. Each vehicle must meet specific competitive and performance targets at every milestone in its development, including criteria for fuel economy, emissions and substances of concern.
We work continually to improve the quality of our products, using our extensive global Quality Operating System (QOS) to develop and measure robust manufacturing processes. This helps ensure that our vehicles meet or exceed customer expectations at every stage of vehicle development and manufacture well into the future.
We begin designing-in quality years before a new model rolls off the assembly line. Informed by customer research, our engineers use a suite of high-tech design tools and virtual manufacturing technologies to define the right features and manufacturing processes. We also test vehicle prototypes extensively to ensure customers get a high-quality product.
But it doesn’t end there. Even after a sale, we evaluate vehicle performance and use this information to continuously improve. We also gather feedback from customers using survey tools that evaluate our product quality, and track their satisfaction with its performance.
Tracking Progress on Quality
We monitor product quality through a combination of internal and external measurements that assess how we are doing and where we can improve. The Global Quality Research System (GQRS), which tracks customer satisfaction and “Things Gone Wrong,” is our primary quality survey. It is implemented for us quarterly by the market research and consulting firm Ipsos RDA Group. We also subscribe to J.D. Power and Associates’ annual Initial Quality Study, Vehicle Dependability Study, and Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, and track warranty claims and costs internally.
As we continue to use the QOS, vehicle quality continues to improve around the world. Our latest data on “Things Gone Wrong” and customer satisfaction with sales and service shows that our quality has improved to best-ever levels in all operating regions during 2015.
Our culture of cooperation and continuous improvement means that we can address any quality and satisfaction concerns quickly and effectively, and learn from every quality issue.