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Ford’s big problem

Ford had $638 million in net income during the company’s most recent completed quarter. It lost a case which involved the rollover of an F-250 that killed two people in 2014. The cost was $1.7 billio



The news coverage of the resulting accident does serve to highlight a weakness that has developed in Ford over time. There has been rising concern about the reliability of the company’s wares. In a lengthy article, The Wall Street Journal criticized Ford’s reliability. Quality issues have risen to the forefront of Ford’s priorities, as the article’s title suggests. The title was too cute by half, but it effectively communicated a potential roadblock Ford may face for years as it attempts to transition from producing gas-powered vehicles to becoming an industry leader in the electric vehicle market.

What is featured prominently in the front pages of major newspapers and television networks is important. Many consumers base their purchases on reports they read in the media or see in market studies on automobiles. Recently, Ford has seen an increase in sales. However, a highly competitive international auto market is required for the current trend to continue and shake up the industry.

The Ford-150 Lightning is Ford’s best electric vehicle. The gas-powered full-size pickup has been America’s best-selling vehicle for four decades. As a result, Ford now has millions of permanent customers. Ford will sell hundreds of thousands of the new F-150 even if only a fraction of buyers “go electric.”

The auto industry as a whole presents Ford with a second and third challenge. Inconsistencies in the supply chain have slowed the delivery of necessary components. Additionally, the cost of battery components has forced Ford to raise the price on the F-150 Lighting, which could put it out of the reach of some prospective buyers.

What Ford’s management really needs to solve, though, isn’t supply chain issues. The industry that the firm operates in is one where quality names like Toyota have paved the way to success in the marketplace. In no way is that something Ford can use to its advantage.