Ford Motor Co. may not meet its production goal of 25,000 Thunderbirds per year.
|2001 Management Briefing Seminars index|
Cars won't be shipped until they meet Ford's internal quality standards, said Anne Stevens, vice president of Ford North America Vehicle Operations.
Stevens, interviewed Monday, said Ford is taking extra measures to avoid troubles with the reborn, $40,000 Thunderbird.
Ford has product engineers, designers and assembly line workers working together at the Wixom, Mich., assembly plant to monitor quality.
"Quality will determine the build rate of the product," Stevens said.
The measures are designed to avoid a repeat of embarrassing problems and recalls the automaker experienced with production launches of the Ford Focus, Escape and 2002 Explorer.
As for the spate of recalls, Stevens refused to attribute them to Ford's cost-cutting efforts.
She also wouldn't fault automotive suppliers.
"We won't play the blame game.
"We supply the product to the customer; we take responsibility."