Ford CEO Acknowledges That Quality Is Job 1

2023 Ford Super Duty 9 photos
Photo: Ford
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Ford chief executive officer Jim Farley said that Dearborn's favorite son is focused on improving quality. At the 68th Annual Meeting of Shareholders, he underlined that subpar quality has been hampering the automaker in the past two years.
In truth, quality issues at FoMoCo products go a long way back. The Dearborn-based automaker came up with the "Quality is Job 1" tagline back in 1981, but – as you're well aware – marketing and reality are two very different things.

Did you know Ford issued a recall for previously recalled Explorer vehicles over an incomplete software update? What's more, a launch team member of the all-new Mustang has acknowledged three main issues that Ford is currently sorting out with its seventh-gen pony car.

Said issues are V8 valve concerns, inadequate body panel fitment, and electric gremlins. We must also remember the countless problems over which the Bronco has been recalled thus far. The 2021 model, for instance, is listed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with six recalls. The 2021 Bronco Sport, by comparison, amassed eight recalls.

Turning our attention back to Farley, the big kahuna said that Ford's quality is gradually improving, especially in terms of initial quality. How did the Ford Motor Company do it?

Farley gives the all-new Super Duty line of trucks as an example, claiming that prototypes have been driven more real-world miles than before. The chief executive officer also claimed that Ford tripled the number of trucks designated for towing tests. Last but certainly not least, assembly plant workers take 100 trucks for 25-mile (40-kilometer) shakedowns every single day. Not a bad way to improve quality, but true quality starts with engineering and design.

As a brief refresher, the all-new Super Duty started production back in October 2022 at the Kentucky Truck Plant and Ohio Assembly Plant. Approximately 150,000 orders were received in the first five weeks, and that shouldn't come as a surprise.

There are exceptions, of course, but heavy-duty trucks are typically used for heavy-duty jobs. These jobs take their toll on the frame, powertrain, bed, and everything in between.

Advertised as the most capable and torquiest pickup in the heavy-duty segment, the 2023 model year Ford Super Study is available from $43,970 for the F-250 XL. At the other end of the range, the F-450 Limited costs $103,030 sans freight.

Three powerplants are available, beginning with a 6.8 gasser based on the 7.3-liter V8 that Ford refers to as Godzilla. The Power Stroke turbo diesel is available in two flavors. The high-output version belts out 500 horsepower (best in segment) and 1,200 pound-feet (1,627 Nm) of torque (also best in class).

As if that wasn't impressive enough, the redesigned Super Duty offers up to 40,000 pounds (18,144 kilograms) of towing capacity and up to 8,000 pounds (3,629 kilograms) in terms of payload. General Motors and Stellantis haven't reached these figures yet with their Silverado HD and Ram HD pickups.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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