March 15, 2013
After recent launch problems, Ford Motor Co. is tightening the build quality of prototype vehicles, says Barb Samardzich, vice president for product development at Ford of Europe.
"We make sure that when we build our first set of prototypes that the quality of parts accurately represents what our production intent is so that we can ferret out any design issues very early," she said.
Ford issued several recalls of the redesigned Fusion mid-sized car and Escape SUV last year. Samardzich said recent European launches had been glitch-free, but she acknowledged that new technology such as the MyFord Touch connectivity system can cause problems.
Said Samardzich: "You do run a risk that you may be taking a step backward in some of the quality delivery because of the newness of the technology even though you've put it through all the robust processes."