Launching a new model car is tough. Many manufacturers experience growing pains in the form of recalls, lawsuits, delays, and other production mishaps. This is pretty standard. While consumers often don’t have much patience for it, the manufacturers understand that these things happen. They adapt, course correct, and the line moves on. Well, Ford had a little more trouble than normal with the 2020 Ford Explorer and promises to do better next time.
The 2020 Ford Explorer was Recalled so much Ford is stepping its game up
The Ford Explorer is a monster seller for Ford. However, the 2020 model was riddled with recall after recall amounting to a total of 10 recalls. That is a big number. After the tenth recall over a potentially faulty motor mount in December of last year, Ford is ready to step up to the plate and make some changes, according to Motor1.
The new Explorer saw some hard times
According to Motor1, The Explorer did not get off to the best start. Around the same time as production, Ford undertook a $1 billion retooling project at the factory, which Ford cites as a contributor to the Explorers stumbling start. This delayed the production goals for the SUV.
With production behind, the build quality didn’t seem to ever really catch up, and as a result, the model caught recall after recall.
Ford is now promising to turn over a new oval
Motor1 says that Ford’s VP of product development and purchasing, Hua Thai-Tang did an interview with Automotive News in which he said that he was really pleased with the current model launches. Even as production delays continue to plague the Ford Bronco and Mustang Mach-E, Thai-Tang says these delays are “very typical” in times like these. The problem is, these are fairly unprecedented times, and Ford was having delays before the pandemic, too. So, what is going to change?
Thai-Tang continues, “Overall, we’ve been very happy with the launches so far. If you think about this last year, we had three big launches, and we hit all of those launch dates and ramp volume curves pretty much to plan after we adjusted for the COVID shutdown.”
The Ford VP is very optimistic about Ford’s upcoming models and their production, but we have been hurt before, Ford.
What is Ford doing differently now to avoid the failures of the past?
Continuing the theme, reports surfaced that the 2021 F-150s are currently being inspected around plants in Michigan. Again, Thai-Tang assures us we have nothing to worry about and, in fact, this is very normal. Furthermore, he says that these inspections will not affect deliveries on F-150s.
Thai-Tang says, “We have connected-vehicle data now, so we’re able to see in real-time some of the initial-quality results.” He goes on to say, “So far the run rate at zero months in service, we’re seeing about 45 percent lower quality claims this year than the same period last year. It’s another proof point the process is working.”
Back to the Mustang Mach-E and the Bronco
Ford gets a break on these issues. Thai-Tang cites “industrialization issues” as the culprit for these delays. The fact that the roof, which is the source of the Bronco delays, is made by another supplier, is the problem. Webasto (the company that makes the roof) is having trouble delivering on the part due to COVID-related log jams.
Thai-Tang’s last words on the issue were, “In both cases, they’re complex issues with tools that were installed with overseas support,” he said. “It was complicated by COVID absenteeism, but we’re on the right path.”
Thai-Tang assures us in that interview that things are on the right path over a Ford, and these new systems of communication with “connected-vehicle data” should catch many more issues or defects before the units ever get on the road.