Automotive News: Ford Quality Cuts Warranty Costs [Archive] - Ford Inside News Community

: Automotive News: Ford Quality Cuts Warranty Costs

08-06-2007, 01:12 PM
Hinrichs: Ford quality cuts warranty costs

David Barkholz

Automotive News | 11:57 am, August 6, 2007

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co.'s quality gains in the past year are beginning to contribute to major savings on warranty costs, Ford Manufacturing Vice President Joe Hinrichs said here today.

Ford posted a $700 million warranty-cost improvement in the first half of this year as successful launches of products such as the Ford Edge and renewed attention to electrical and powertrain components began to take hold, Hinrichs said.

"It was encouraging to see the improvements across all our brands," Hinrichs said after delivering a Ford manufacturing report that kicked off the Management Briefing Seminars.

Warranty costs from vehicle repair and parts replacements are a $12.8 billion annual problem for the domestic car industry, according a study by newsletter Warranty Week.

Hinrichs said Ford has benefited by standardizing on manufacturing processes across plants and through greater use of computers to foresee production obstacles.

But teamwork with the company's unionized work force may be the biggest reason for improvement, he said.

UAW locals at every Ford plant in North America have instituted flexible new work rules codified in competitive operating agreements, Hinrichs said.

The agreements, which reduce job classifications and promote team building, are expected to save Ford more than $500 million annually. Hinrichs said those workers who stayed after about 27,000 Ford hourly workers volunteered for buyouts did so with the expectation that labor conditions would change.

Meantime, Ford's vehicles took the most awards in the latest J.D. Power & Associates survey of initial quality -- a credit to design, manufacturing and the workers and suppliers that assemble parts, Hinrichs said.

He said while continuing the improvements next year will be incrementally more difficult, the processes and people are in place to post gains.

"As you get more and more competitive, and you get closer to the Toyotas and Hondas of the world, it gets harder to make the same kinds of improvement from a rate standpoint as we saw before," Hinrichs said.

"But our goal is pretty simple: to catch everyone and get to be the best and we're still on that trajectory."


08-06-2007, 01:34 PM
Have you seen the New Chrysler Warranty? Life time

08-06-2007, 02:07 PM
Have you seen the New Chrysler Warranty? Life time
We all know that the life time of Chrysler current vehicles isn't all that long . . . :D

08-06-2007, 02:57 PM
We all know that the life time of Chrysler current vehicles isn't all that long . . . :D
he he, True Chryslers reputation is less than stella, but this makes people feel safe buying that new Commander now

02-03-2009, 11:39 PM
US: Ford reduces warranty costs

3 February 2009 | Source: editorial team

Ford has reduced its worldwide warranty repairs costs by US$1.2bn in the past two years and the repair rate in the US is now almost half the 2004 total.

"Ford Motor Company's steady vehicle quality improvement in recent years is beginning to translate into significant savings for the company and far fewer trips by customers to the repair shop," the automaker said in a statement.

"These savings can be attributed to four straight years of quality improvements on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Ford's initial quality is now in a virtual tie with Honda-Acura and Toyota-Lexus-Scion for the 2008 model year, according to the latest US Global Quality Research System (GQRS) study."

"Ford is following a set of standardised processes around the world in product development, manufacturing and purchasing with a discipline this company has never seen," said Bennie Fowler, who heads global quality.

"The last 24 months have revealed some our best quality results," said Curt Yun, director of global warranty. "Our new models have been achieving continuously declining warranty repair rates and lower warranty costs, as a direct result of our overall quality improvements."

We've reached the point where our initial quality is second to none among the full-line manufacturers," claimed Fowler. "We expect that high quality to be reflected in future high-mileage surveys as our new models age."