Ford is Job 1
In a recent article by Jeff Karoub of the associated press, it was noted that
the Ford Motor Co had the most awards in vehicle quality rankings. More even
than the great Toyota, Mercedes, and Lexus. How could that be? An American
car company outperforming all of the foreign car makers?
I, for one, am more than pleased, I am elated. I grew up in the fabulous
50's and the sensational 60's when American cars were king. It was
Chevy VS Ford and Plymouth and Pontiac and Oldsmobile in a race for performance
and style. Buick, Mercury, Desoto (Until 1961), and Chrysler were the
Mid-range, more frills, better quality offerings. And then there was the
luxury market where Chrysler Corp had the Imperial, Ford the Lincoln, and
General Motors, of course, had the "Cadillac" of luxury. As for sports
cars, there was only one true sports car, the Chevy Corvette. There were
foreign cars available back then, but you rarely saw one with the exception
of the VW Bug.
It became painfully obviously in the 70's and much of the 80's that
American car manufacturers lost sight of something called "quality control"
while the foreign car makers, hungry for American sales, found their
manufacturing methods produced a much better quality automobile and at a
competitive price. I was bad news for American Cars for nearly 2 decades
until they decided to make use of the old axiom, "if you can't beat them,
Ford now owns one third of Mazda and part of Jaguar, Chrysler and Mitsubishi
are connected at the hip, not to mention owned by Daimler-Benz until recently,
and GM and Toyota have built and exchanged engines together. Toyota, Nissan,
Mitsubishi and others have built their own factories to be able to compete
even better than they already have. But, in the mid to late 90's, into the
21st century the quality has come back and there is very little difference in
quality between foreign and domestic models. That's great news for American
aficionados like me. Congratulations to Ford on a job well done.
Steven W Bailey