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Making quality job 1 again

Edward Lapham is editor of Automotive News

Dec. 25 -- One of the problems facing the Ford Motor Company is how to restore confidence in the quality of its products.

Recent launches of high-volume vehicles such as the Focus and Escape have been marred by a flurry of recalls and service actions. And introductions of the Thunderbird and the new Explorer were seriously delayed.

In a recent interview, company CEO Bill Ford said there was plenty of blame to be shared by product development and manufacturing operations.

Officials are now trying to show car dealers that the company is reducing the number of things gone wrong. So they are inviting dealers to visit the assembly plants and see for themselves.

After the dealers are believers, they'll need to convince the consumer.

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com

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