Ford received five segment awards in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which is more awards than any other brand. The survey measures customer satisfaction in design, content, and vehicle performance.
In June, Ford achieved the highest initial quality among all non-luxury brands in J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Initial Quality Study (IQS). For the second year in a row, Ford was the only non-premium brand to achieve above industry average scored in both J.D. Power’s IQS and APEAL studies.
“It’s a significant accomplishment to do so well in APEAL on the heels of receiving high marks from J.D. Power on initial quality,” said Bennie Fowler, group vice president, Global Quality and New Model Launches. “The APEAL results stand as another proof point that Ford is redefining quality. We know it’s not enough to build defect-free cars and trucks. We move to the next step by delivering an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations with features they would expect to find only in high-priced luxury lines.”
In order to understand how customers define “gratification,” Ford researchers combed through surveys, looked at historical trends and studied customer satisfaction rates. By discovering what makes customers feel good about their cars, Ford was able to develop customer-driven standards.
This “emotional engineering,” which focuses on the senses of sight, sound and touch, is helping Ford deliver vehicles that are satisfying to own and drive.
The company focuses its quality efforts in three main categories: Basic Quality, Performance Quality and Excitement Quality.
Ford is working to extend customer quality satisfaction beyond durability and functionality to excitement quality – the parts of the vehicle that surprise and delight. Excitement quality includes features from seats specially designed for comfort, to materials and surfaces that look good and feel right, and interiors with ambiance and innovative exterior paints.
“When applying the three categories of quality, it’s never about either/or; it’s all three,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “We’re sill consumed with basic quality, but we’re now also very focused on providing appeal and excitement to meet customers’ desires.”