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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 valee.

“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.”

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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
 

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Is it not amazing that it took a disaster in detroit for Americans to wake up to how great their own automobiles are. I would say since 2004 Ford and GM have had products superior to imports for the most part.
 

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here's a LINK to ALG's Perceived Quality Study .pdf
Ford Surge Continues
...For nearly 5 years, Ford has made a concerted attempt to build vehicles better aligned with consumer demand, limiting brand damaging incentive spending and daily rental fleet sales. These 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. Ford swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards with the fuel sipping Fusion Hybrid and commercial grade Transit Connect in January 2010. Prior to these awards, Ford also collected both of Motor Trend’s prestigious Car and Truck of the Year awards with the aforementioned Fusion and the F-150 (which also won in 2009)...
 

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Another point with public perception is the bail outs. A lot of people do not like the other two companies because the government bailed them out as Ford did it the correct way and got themselves out of dire circumstances alone with no help. I think that says a lot about a company. I also think the quality Ford is putting into their vehicles and now with the "One Ford" motto and way of planning future vehicles will only help them out with suppliers and keeping costs down. I think we need to see more of the three brands in almost every market where needed.
 

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Ford's quality gains boost in public's eye - DetNews
In lease guide survey, automaker posts biggest 6-month hike as average residual value rises

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News
Last Updated: May 15. 2010 1:02AM

The quality of Ford Motor Co. cars and trucks has improved steadily for several years, but consumer perception has lagged -- a source of frustration for workers and executives, many of whom felt consumers were not giving Ford vehicles the credit they deserved. Now, that is beginning to change.

According to the latest survey by Automotive Lease Guide, Ford posted the biggest gain in perceived quality of any automaker -- increasing 4.7 percentage points over the past six months. During the same period, the lease guide found that the average residual value of Ford's cars increased by $2,400, while the industry as a whole saw a $616 increase. Residual value roughly equates to resale value.

"We're starting to see the perception catch up now with reality," said Jim Farley, global sales and marketing chief for the Dearborn automaker. "That means we can eliminate the discount relative to quality, and we can get back to pricing parity -- which we are starting to see."

The gains are significant because the lease guide's findings are used by banks and other lenders to set monthly lease rates for cars and trucks.

"They're doing extremely well," Matt Traylen, chief economist for the lease guide, said of Ford. He attributed the automaker's gains to the strength of its new products, a "disciplined" approach to incentives and to favorable public opinion stemming from Ford's decision to forgo a taxpayer bailout last year...


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the little I know about leases tells me that as residuals rise, the cost of leasing goes down
both overall and monthly payments
 
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