One of Ford management’s promises to investors last year is that it would drive up the quality of its vehicles. One byproduct of poor quality is recalls. These can cost a car manufacturer hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Ford has let investors down again.
Ford recalled 870,701 of its F-150 pickups, more than it sells in a year. The F-150 is the largest-selling vehicle in America, making up over a third of Ford’s sales. Those recalled were models from 2021 to 2023. (These are America’s 17 favorite pickups.)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document about the recall says, “Damaged electric parking brake wiring may lead to inadvertent parking brake application while driving, potentially resulting in loss of control of the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.” If that seems dangerous, that’s because it is.
In this case, Ford’s recall is extremely visible. The F-150 is not only Ford’s flagship, but its electric vehicle (EV) flagship is the F-150 Lightning. The recall affects the image of the entire model.
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Ford is trying to reach the top EV sales list in America. However, it recently cut back production of its EVs due to a lack of demand. Slow demand and poor product quality will make attaining those aspirations more difficult.
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The gasoline-powered F-150 probably will be Ford’s best-selling vehicle for years, perhaps until the end of this decade. EVs must replace those pickup sales to grow and for the company to remain profitable.
Ford’s promise to become the car company of the future continues to be compromised by its problems in the present.
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