DETROIT - Ford Motor Co., stung by quality problems and rising warranty costs, has demanded that its top parts makers fix the problems or risk losing the automaker's business.
Ford last month blamed suppliers for their role in its decline in vehicle quality compared with its competitors. And even as Ford vows more price cuts for suppliers, it says they must improve or lose business.
Tony Brown, Ford's global purchasing vice president, and other top executives laid out a grim picture of the automaker's declining quality at an April 16 meeting with its top 100 suppliers. In the past two years, Ford Motor has ranked behind General Motors and DaimlerChrysler in internal reports measuring satisfaction with overall vehicle quality, according to the Ford presentation, a copy of which was obtained by Automotive News.
And all three automakers rank well below Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.
Meanwhile, Ford's North American warranty costs rose 16 percent last year to $2.2 billion. (See chart above. )
Any role Ford's own glitches might have played in the quality scores was not disclosed in the report, nor would Ford discuss the matter.
"On the face of it, Ford suppliers would appear to bear much of the responsibility for quality issues at Ford," said consultant Craig Fitzgerald. "When you look deeper, some of those root problems are due to Ford's procurement, communications coordination and business practices."