Ford Motor Co. is delaying the launch of Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers by two weeks. This is done to iron out last-minute supply and manufacturing problems. The derailment is announced by the automaker last Wednesday. Moreover, the crossovers are expected to be delivered to dealers in the early part of December.
According to Joe Hinrichs, vice president of North American manufacturing for Ford, "Dealers were expecting the new crossover utility vehicles in showrooms by the end of the month. Now, they will have to wait until early December. We're going to give ourselves a couple more weeks to make sure we have everything right with the manufacturing processes and the supply base. " Hinrichs added, "The last thing we want to have is this great vehicle come to market and have any problems."
Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers are significant vehicles of the automaker. The latter needs them in the struggle to recover. In fact, Ford desperately needs hot sellers and according to some analysts, Edge has the potentials to bag a home run. Nonetheless, it can only do so after establishing quality, functionality, performance and reliability. Moreover, Ford is ensuring the quality of the crossovers down to minutest auto parts.
"If they fix the problems, no one will remember it even happened. If it's not up to standard, people will remember it forever," Jim Sanfilippo of AMCI said. "The standard at Ford these days is zero-tolerance. If it's a two-week delay, that's fairly mild."
Sanfilippo added that such delays are not uncommon in today's hyper-competitive marketplace. Toyota, for one, delayed the launch of Tundra to make sure that all issues are addressed before it arrives in showrooms.
"It's most important that they take the time to make sure everything is perfect. You don't want anything to go wrong with these vehicles. It's much more important for them to make sure the initial quality is right." Chris Lemley, owner of Sentry Auto Group in Medford, Mass. said. "This was always going to be a slow ramp up."
It can be recalled that Ford had similar delays in the past. Said delay is in connection with Fusion, which was eventually rated by Consumer Reports magazine as one of the 2006 outstanding new vehicles, quality-wise. Escape Ford parts were in fact subjected to said meticulous quality control. "Ford is really determined to get it right the first time, and that's wonderful news for the consumer," Sanfilippo connected.