With a new boss at the helm, Ford is looking at new ways to improve its vehicle launches in North America to prevent recent issues that have popped up with models like the Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and Ford Fusion. Speaking with Automotive News, Ford's new president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, revealed a few ways the automaker plans to avoid early build issues such as the engine fires on certain 2013 Escape and Fusion models and months-long delays for customers to receive their MKZs.

It sounds like the root of the problems may have been Ford's relationship with suppliers compounded by the fact that the product surge came on the heels of the recent industry-crippling recession, and in the AN article, Hinrichs says improvements are being made to reduce problems during the launch of new or redesigned models. Three such improvements that were implemented during the first quarter of this year including more rigorous quality comparisons, better use of computer technology to catch major problems sooner and hiring engineers to work closer with suppliers.


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  • 98 Comments
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Despite all of the bumps and recalls they are doing great in sales numbers. And now that the MKZ is being shipped, it set a record for all time sales at Lincoln. But you have to wonder if that huge spike was a bottleneck of people waiting to get cars on order. May and June will be more accurate on how well the MKZ sells. Also curious to see how EcoDuped (trademark!) turns out for them. I have nothing against Ford at all, but there just seem to be too many reports on their turbo engines getting poor MPG. May come back to bite them long term.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        MKZ--4,012 - That's what they're crowing about? Wow, talking about lowered expectations. Are these numbers just boosted because of pent up demand (bottleneck), created by problems at launch. Are these sustainable numbers? What are they going to do about the sluggish sales numbers that plague the MKS--730?
      no1bondfan
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Lincoln is supposed to be a flagship brand, it really should be Made-in-USA. That title can still carry value.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      When is the MKC coming?
      Trent
      • 1 Year Ago
      1984 called and they want this car back...
        blasds78
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Trent
        ??? -2.... because there's no connection between this design and 1984, and also because this type of joke isn't and never was funny.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      That MKZ has an ugly mug. Ford should have given the Lincoln the "Aston" look.
        That Guy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        Just call it the Lincoln Cimarron. Although the ripped off so-called Aston look is a complete lack of design initiative. And the overstyling that follows that grille is comical.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          [blocked]
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          Not to suggest that you had any credibility left in the first place, but you are suggesting that a Cadillac which was directly rebadged from a horrible compact GM platform from the 80s with a hastily tacked-on Cadillac grille is better than a Lincoln with unique powertrain options, suspension upgrades, and 100% unique exterior and interior fittings that is based off of a universally praised European Ford sedan platform. Thanks for playing.
          That Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          Not really yonomo. It's the truth. But even the Cimarron had deeper luxury roots than this POS from Lincoln.
          anon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @That Guy
          And that split grille that's so reminiscent of the ......................1960 EDSEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      That Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Easy fix. Stop spending all your money on over styling the vehicles (Fusion is the worst) and actually make quality a priority. As for the Lincoln Cimarron, well, it’s just a mess. Ford is clueless on how to make a luxury rebadge. If they are having that many problems with a rebadged car with a Dodge Dart rear end, one should really question the overall quality of Ford vehicles. And there hasn't been any mention of all the Egoboost problems, the Explorer losing all steering ability (for some people at highway speed), etc It’s clear that Ford and quality do not go together. They never have.
        ZenDriver
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        Wow, at least your user name is appropriate. You really are "THAT guy". You know, as in the guy who has "being a douche bag" down to a science. "They are afraid of me...?" Really, just how sad can your state of mind be to need to write that? Please also note that you keep referencing the Cimarron, an old GM product that they've long since forgotten. But you haven't. Bitter? Look, THAT guy, there's this stuff you can drink, and it's called beer. You definitely could use a few glasses of it. Then maybe you'll finally get the female attention you've been so desperately needing since the Clinton administration. In the meantime, go find a professional to help you deal with the large chip you carry around, sad sack.
        Gurble
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        Someday you're going to say something unpredictable. Sadly, not today.
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        sadly Matt, the Fusions sales reflect your exact thoughts......same with the Explorer ( leading its segment last I looked ) and Escape ( I think that may also be leading its segemnt, but not so sure ) and the MKZ outsold teh Ats last month in its first real month....Ford...GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, MATT SAYS SO....
          That Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Fleet sales are amazing aren't they? Now, I know your going to parrot an all knowing moderator (who's only claim to fame is that he drives a decade old Mercury) and say all fleet sales are good, but what I want to know is, why have you changed your story? When I was the sole intelligent voice on BON you all destroyed me saying fleet sales were evil. You STILL do when it comes to any other manufacturer other than your beloved Ford. The Fusion is a joke. Extremely over styled (and not in a good way), terrible interior, MFT that is still the worst in the industry, terrible panel alignment, and multiple recalls. Meet the new Ford, same as the old Ford. First, that idiot Big Al screwed up Boeing, now he's screwing up Ford. The clown needs to go.
          That Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Love the flip flop Dean, So predictable. Sadly, the only motivating factor in fleet sales is price, and because Ford ****** themselves out to fleets, they get the sales. I mean, come on...a brand new Super Duty crew cab for 25K with an extended warranty? As for BON, Dick Jensen just didn\'t like hearing the truth. And when you would post one unsupported fact, he had a fit...all while NONE of his statements were based in reality let alone supported with anything like a citation. They are afraid of me. They were threatened by me. I haven\'t been back since, but it\'s funny when Dick Jensen posted that fake PM saying it was from me. He really needs to leave his trailer more often and go for a drive in his wreck of a Sable with fast food bags piled up in the rear window. Right now, Ford and their products are a house of cards. And it\'s starting to crumble.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          not all Fleet sales are good Matt, but large companies that obtain them have choices..the fact they go with ANY manufacturer in particular ( ie PH @H , Wheels, ARI....which service HUGE companies such as Yum, Siemens, Astrazeneca etc etc etc ) is a reflection of better product as several parameters are weighed, service costs, gas mileage and resale for example . NOW...and please write this down, the same cannot be said of sales to rental companies where the cheapest possible vehicle is bought to serve a sole purpose....and man, get over the BON issue, that was quite a while ago, and based on the fact youve been either booted or put on suspension, or had to change your stage name several times, is a reflection on yourself, no one else....you are better than that.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        [blocked]
          That Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          Car guy, it's called the Lincoln Cimarron. And it would be insulting to Buick to compare it to any of their models.
          That Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          The truth is, the Cimarron had deeper luxury roots than this trim level on a Ford hey call the MKZzzzzzzz. It's an insult to the Cimarron to compare the MKZzzzzz to it. And what's with all the extra characters in your posts? Don't they have normal keyboards in Australia?
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          Matty, the \"cimmaron\" schtick\" is gettinga tad long in the tooth......
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          I kinda agree, they will be cross shopped, but in reality I think they are aimed at slightly different types of buyers...one is more sports oriented, the other possibly more :\"coddling\"....it will be interesting once the \"flavor of the month\" persona wears off to see how they actually compare is sales numbers....
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        sadly Matt, Fords sales reflect your very thoughts, Fusions arent selling, the Explorer ( dont beleive those sales figures ) is NOT at the top of its segment, neither is the Escape ( those numbers are inflated OBVIOUSLY ) ....they really need to get their act together...PATHETIC!
        Jesus!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @That Guy
        If the Cimarron was half as good as this MKZ is we would not be using that name as a joke!
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford needs to stop selling pigs and calling them lincolns and build proper lincolns
      GR
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure why people hate on Ford and especially the Lincoln MKZ. I was at the DC autoshow earlier this year and the most impressive car there in my opinion was the MKZ. The car is very carefully executed inside and out and has an unique styling that is classy yet eye-catching. The interior was just as impressive with the massive panoramic moonroof that slid over nearly the entire cabin. The LED roof lighting was an unique touch as well that really made the interior stand out. The seats were comfortable and the cockpit was sculpted well (yes, even with those gear buttons). The car is not some performance car, but it's not supposed to be. It's targeting the Acura TL, Lexus ES, GS buyers. Those cars aren't exactly performance sports sedans and the bulk of their buyers certainly aren't performance buffs. Lastly, I'm a guy who has strictly preferred Japanese cars made in Japan. 15 years ago, it was easy to justify the choice given that American counterparts lacked the build quality or reliability of their Japanese rivals. Today, it's a different story. The MKZ is actually a very impressive car to me and the last gen MKZ (based on the Fusion) was one of the most reliable American cars ever made. So... this is still an awful car?
        Terry Actill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        The rear seat space is a joke. GR. Why pay $10k more for a Fusion with even less rear seat space? Lincoln is not an aspiration model anymore. Who aspires to drive a Lincoln except Ford workers?
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Terry Actill
          Terry, sit in the backseat of a 3 series BMW......its a car that does pretty well for them, and the Z in comparison has more room....not sure, but I also beleive theres more room back there than in the ATS....
          GR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Terry Actill
          I did not find it to be that small. More importantly, people cry about tight rear seat space, but really, how often do you have someone in the back seat? I have had a total of exactly ONE person in the rear seat of my 4 door sedan in the last YEAR. I then look around whenever I drive at other people's cars and their occupants. RARELY is there anyone in the rear seat. Families that need more space often opt for an SUV or Minivan anyways. Spacious rear leg room is nice, but is seldom actually appreciated because rarely does anyone sit back there anyways.
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        The Ford Fusion MKZ could even pass for a Mercury, but as a Lincoln? Na
          ZenDriver
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          Aww, look everybody, it's little douche, big douche's yappy little sidekick.
          That Guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          That's why we call it the Lincoln Cimarron. At least then it has a proper name, rather than here random letters thrown together.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        It's U.G.L.Y
        Winnie Jenkems
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        OK, in profile the car is attractive, especially from the rear 3/4 view. The seats are supremely comfortable and the interior layout is nicely done. However, it has a bulbous front end with that stupid split-wing grille that is just not working on these cars. It is FWD and, unlike Audi, the AWD option is not rear-biased. The center console is covered in Ford-standard cheap grey plastic, which will scratch easily and not wear well and frankly has no place in a luxury car. They aren't going to move many $50K cars with gimmicky features like a push button transmission and a big sunroof; that's just not going to sway people who can get so much more for their money elsewhere. That's why we hate on it. The brand has such a history and so much potential (look at the '60s Continental), yet it's being squandered on awful marketing and re-skinned Fords. Lincoln is going to have to make a major ($1 billion +) investment in their product, including a proper RWD platform, and bring a whole lot more to the table if they expect to compete in today's luxury market.
        EC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        Well said, not every car has to be a performance car
      muchdrama
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here, I just rethought Lincoln's strategy: build all your cars with RWD, like true luxury cars. There. I'm a genius.
        anon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @muchdrama
        And instead of making the platform from scratch like for this and the upcoming '15 Mustang, they coulda used their Aussie Falcon platform that they've had for years already and probably already worked out the glitches.
      GoSpeedRacerGo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope they rethink Lincoln's product naming strategy as well.
      VIPER94
      • 1 Year Ago
      I still find it gunny how they essentially just took the dodge charger's taillights and flipped 'em for the back haha.
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VIPER94
        Okay Viper, aside from the fact that full-width taillights aren't really a proprietary design, take a look at a Mark VIII or MKX.
      M5_4_life
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just saw the Fusion Titanium on my company's parking lot and boy oh boy, that thing is sexy!
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