At an event in Detroit where the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Foundation announced a $10 million program to support Southwest Detroit neighborhoods, company executives addressed its commitment to quality. They noted that an increase in the number of recalls, particularly of Ford’s Escape sport-utility vehicles and Fusion sedans have not slowed sales of the models.
The Chief Operating Officer of Ford, Mark Fields, advised reporters in attendance that there has been no adverse impact on the sales or perceptions of the products due to the recalls. At the same time, he acknowledged the importance and attention that should be paid to brand images and noted that an immense amount of hard work being devoted to ensure quality.
The Chief Executive Officer, Alan Mulally, in his turnaround plan for Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, has made quality its cornerstone.
Ford’s top selling SUV, the 2013 Escape, has seen four recalls since its introduction in May. There have been two recalls of the new Fusion since its debut in October. But as noted, sales are holding up. Ford has also experienced problems with its MyFord and MyLincoln Touch infotainment systems and some transmission systems.
There have been efforts made by Ford to ensure customer satisfaction even in the face of recalls. For example, free loaner cars are offered to customers and all reasonable attempts are made to complete repairs promptly.
Funds from Ford’s neighborhood support program noted above will be used for a community center, new youth recreation and summer camp, support for education and summer job programs; a new Ford Resource and Engagement Center in southwest Detroit which will offer community gathering space with a Gleaners client choice food service center, cultural and job training opportunities, and other community services; and support other initiatives throughout Southeast Michigan.
Shares of Ford were up Wednesday by 0.51% to close at $11.73