Monday, January 23, 2006

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company – A Sad Day for Detroit – I would like to blame it on globalization and “the New World Order” –- but there may be other factors! Consider the dealers and consumer complaint department! Some detract from its quality products!

I have lived happily ever after in the Detroit metropolitan area nearly all of my adult life since 1965. I love the city and the State of Michigan, both of which have been good to me. It has been said that when the rest of the country catches cold, Detroit catches pneumonia. Today Ford Motor Company gave an already economically traumatized area a deadly jolt. It will be closing its Wixom plant, affecting approximately 20,000 workers. Some of them are my law clients. I personally will be sharing the economic pain.

In situations like this, everybody likes to blame everybody else. Management likes to blame labor unions. The UAW (United Automobile Workers for the benefit of our overseas readers) likes to blame management. Both sides blame the alleged greed of the other.

Of course, having viewed the prognostications of the globalists since 1981, I would love to ascribe all blame to the New World Order. It certainly deserves its fair share of same. There is plenty of blame to go around for labor and management. However, perhaps anecdotally – certainly based on my personal experiences over the past few years, I have a few suggestions for Ford Motor Company as it seeks to regroup. I certainly hope they will plan much of their regrouping in this Detroit area from which much of their accumulated wealth originated.

My theory about Ford woes centers about (1) Ford Motor dealers and their service departments and more importantly (2) Ford Motor Company’s absolutely atrocious handling of legitimate consumer complaints.

Ford makes a great product. My last Ford car was a 1990 Cougar which lived to the ripe old age of nearly 200,000 miles before I decided in the fall of 2004 that further repair was not practical. I bought that car used with 70,000 miles under its belt before I got it. My repair bills over its life were remarkably low. This says a lot about the quality of Ford Motor Company manufacturing prowess. I have heard similar stories from many other Ford Motor Company product owners.

I made a trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana for Erma Cumbey’s funeral in July 2002. After the wake but before the next day’s funeral in Roanoke, Fort Wayne had a near deluge quantity rainstorm. The wipers failed on my car after handling those many gallons of water. After the next day funeral, my son’s uncle, Tom Cumbey, recommended a Fort Wayne Ford dealer for reputable service. I approached for drive in service and received word that a minimal diagnosis would be $39.00 and they might have to order the parts which would require overnight service. I approved the diagnosis workup. After approximately 2 ½ hours in the waiting room, the service manager approached me with the sad news: the car would allegedly require $500 worth of repairs. I would have to leave the car overnight which would mean an expensive hotel stay should I avail myself of the service. Additionally, he said the ball bearings on the vehicle were bad and that might require another large cash outlay. I was given a bill to approve for $41.00. I asked what the additional $2.00 was for over the initial diagnosis estimate and I was told, “for the use of our equipment.” When I asked, “what equipment,” I was told “our computer.”

I had no reason at that point to doubt the estimate or its integrity, but I was about to receive one. I could not spend the night. I had a disabled husband at home and I needed to be in court the next day. I said, “I can’t stay – I must be home tonight. Just write up what it needs and I’ll give it to my mechanics at home tomorrow.” I saw them exchange glances and then they said, “well, we’ll have to put it back together. It might not require everything on the list.”

Miraculously, I had both a dry and bug free drive home that evening to our home. The next day I took it to my most honest mechanic – Bloomfield Township Marathon – a mile from my office. Their customers are so happy, they enjoy almost a cult-like following. For sure the car did not need everything on the list. What did it need? A $1.99 fuse replacement had the entire wiper system running good as new.

Like most area attorneys, I had clients with Ford Motor connections. One Ford Motor engineer gave me a toll-free consumer hot line number to call. It was for Ford Motor Company Customer Relations. I went through the lengthy and stilted interview by the person taking the call. I reported this very serious breach to her and what it nearly cost in terms of personal safety, not to mention the attempted financial fraud. She took a moment, came back to the phone and said bluntly, “we will have to stand by our dealer’s diagnosis – that’s one of our certified repair dealers!" End of story, case closed. There was absolutely no interest in the truth -- only politically protecting a "certified dealer."

This may have been her personally. I doubt it. She most likely reflected company policy. At any rate, she reflected the front line. I toyed with writing an angry letter to the company and copying it to various consumer affair agencies in the State of Indiana. I ended up dismissing the notion of further complaint as one that would be at most unproductive. I had a bad taste in my mouth and remained too angry to immediately consider doing business with another Ford dealer -- or use another Ford mechanic. (And I am sure that the vast majority of them are good and honest, but Ford's unwillingness to even investigate tainted my outlook on all!) I have done business with my gas station mechanics for the last 12 years. They are scrupulously honest. If they told me I needed an expensive repair, I would have absolutely no reason to distrust them. Their walls were full of letters from equally happy customers of their repair garage. It is too bad I could not trust the certified Ford dealer. It is even worse that they blindly took the reputation of dealers over bona fide customer complaints. I am most certain this was not an isolated incident.

Oh, and the “ball bearings.” I drove the car without serious repair needs until the fall of 2004. That too was fictional!

Ford makes a wonderful product. It has brilliant engineers. Its products last and last! I suspect that if it ran herd a little closer on its bad dealers – if it really listened to customer complaints, its business might just improve enough to keep it the major global operation it deserves to be. I wish it luck. I also recommend some housekeeping – with the dealers where necessary and with the consumer complaint department.

We have a close family friend -- Rich Caleal -- his father designed the car which lifted Ford from doldrums in the late 1940s. I hope another such renaissance is in its works and admittedly selfishly, I hope its economic rebirth is Michigan based.

Go to it Ford, but remember basic integrity at both the dealer and consumer complaint level might do more to restore old level of sales than you ever believed possible.
Comments:
Sorry, friends, to depart from my usual topic, but the Ford Motor Company announcement was the equivalent of Katrina or the tsunami to my town. BUT, PLEASE, PLEASE, READ HERB PETERS -- link on my site -- he has vital posts, today, especially the Revelation one!
 
You write of one of my pet peeves. I was a diehard Oldsmobile buyer until they stuck it to me with their diesel engine. The car had many troubles which I solved myself over the years because the dealer could not solve the problems - and of course there was the engine replacement at 85,000 miles - I was lead to believe that 85,000 was normal for a GM - I moved onto Chrysler - owned four of them until I couldn't afford the biennial "maintenance" of the air conditioner malfunctions - oh, yeah and the two transmission replacements - the "service" departments were very discourteous and unprofessional. I never bought a Ford - my neighbor was told that her Ford had a particular driving problem because she didn't know how to drive it. Needless to say - no more Fords in THAT neighborhood - we were all too stupid to drive them - Now I buy Toyota - "What a feelin'". Few unscheduled maintenance problems and courtesy when I go to the service department for work. As an engineer I did design work at some of the Ford plants in the Cleveland area - no time for details - but I couldn't figure how they made money with all those people standing around drinking coffee - they were the most profitable at the time. As Brutus, I come to bury Ford and GM not to praise them - I told the Oldsmobile dealer in Columbus that I would have a party when GM went out of business - I am now looking at invitations. When Chinese cars arrive "Good-bye, GM." Then most of the workers will have to get real jobs - my apologies and sympathies to the Ford and GM workers who actually worked and took pride in their work - you must have been working in a living hell (I have a number of friends that have been there - yes, we are still friends).
 
Kudos to the immediately former "anonymous" for a most interesting and informative post. I hope the automotive companies will reappraise what really needs to be reappraised -- listening skills to consumer complaints and dealer integrity. I must confess that I am presently driving a Toyota and for many of the same reasons. I have, however, had equally bad problems with foreign cars in the past (1975 - a Honda Civic needed its 4th major brake job at 49,000 miles -- it came with a major paint flaw which the dealer hemmed and hawed, but failed to fix -- I was then a law student with too much on my plate to fight another battle). I replace the car with a GM product, a new 1977 Buick Regal with a nice sun roof. That car did give me good user life with relatively small maintenance costs, although the transmission did fail around 80,000 miles -- a common problem I experienced with GM cars at about that mileage level. The transmission on the Mercury Cougar by contrast never failed. It was a relatively low maintenance vehicle -- what I resented were the phony dealer claimed non-existent problems!
 
Another possible cause for the downfall of the major auto makers are the resale superstores, like CarMax. From them, you can buy a decent car, of nearly any make, and pay pretty much the actual retail value of the car. They don't accept cars that have been wrecked, the have competent and courteous maintenance staff, and they will even buy your car without selling you one. I have 2 cars from them, and would do it again. As Constance said, there are good products out there, but the Dealerships and Customer service chase people away. Look at what happened when Ford released the new Mustang. The GT
 
....went for about 27K. Fairly reasonable, but just a tad too rich for me at that time. Then, to that, the dealers added a 3K market adjustment, just because they could. That took me out for good, so if I really want one, I can get it from CarMax with maybe 5K miles, at a decent price.
 
I love my Olds Cutlass. It's the first GM product I bought and it has 101,000 miles. I don't think that's to bad for a 92. I also had a 90 Dodge Omni with 167,000 before I gave it to a friend of mine. I also had a 1979 ford half ton with a 170,000. I take good care of my auto's. I change my oil every 1500- 2000 miles and I had very little problems. It's so sad what's happening to our auto industry but until they can put honesty and integrety back into the co the problems will continue. The management is a problem along with labor unions I do believe the NWO is a big factor to compete in the global market. I often wonder what's going to happen next.
 
Constance
Did you see what's in this past monday's paper in the Oakland Press. It was in the head lines about the Real ID Act towards drivers licences in MI. This also for all 50 states to show extra ID just to get a drivers licence. They were also talking about showing birth certificates besides our S.S. Numbers. As believers we must decide where do we draw the line. It's getting scary out there.

Eagle Eyes watching for his return.
 
I often wonder and think next Jan Solana takes power for six months for the EU presidency. Just stop and think about the power he has now! Then he will be getting more power than he has now. The question I ask is are we close to WWIII. Just stop and think about about Iran who want's nuclear power. All I know is we better be ready for the 2nd comming of L-rd. Stay tuned like Herb say's.
 
I have owned a number of Fords, including three Explorers in the nineties. They were great cars, all. I seldom had any problem of any kind and sold them as they neared 100,000 miles. But think of how America changes its car wants over time. There were no SUVs before the Explorer debut about 1990. Then SUVs became the car to own. Global economy, public tastes, costs of gasoline, design changes, fads, trends, fickle tastes, an occasional national desire for economy, etc., all determine the cyclical fate of automobile models. It is tragic that Ford and to some extent, GM and Chrysler, are so often unable to be ahead of the curve in providing what the public is going to want. They should have seen the changes in public taste coming and changed their cars to meet them.
 
A good American car and a GREAT mechanics. Even good mechanics can have differences in diagnosis. Recently it looked like I had oil leakage -- it turned out the rubber ring on the oil cap was missing -- a cheap under $5 oil cap from an car supply shop solved the problem -- no more leakage or suspected oil burning! It was Mark, the manager of the shop who noticed the inexpensive oil cap solution when on e of his new mechanics thought it something far more severe! One needs a good family doctor, family lawyer, family accountant, and family mechanic to remain intact -- that and faith in God who supplies all in all!
 
Isn't one of the basic problems that telling lies comes so easily to so many people. A neighborhood mechanic has to rely on his reputation so telling the truth is important. But mechanics for dealerships report to their bosses who work for their boss who reports to the dealership who reports to the company. They all just want to make the person over them happy rather than the person who works for them. The board of directors only learns how bad things are when a customer takes the time to complain or stops buying the product. Trick the system by telling lies? How easily it is to rationalize the lie away.

This is the same problem I've found with in many places from HMOs to the local public school. The personal, clever, emotion-driven mailings, ads
and public relations efforts from these mega-corporations, organizations, and government branches are lies in themselves. As the government pyramid grows larger and larger, there are more and more lies between the heads of government and the citizens.

Are there any commandments left that we as a community honor and live by?
I fear we are living in a house of cards, refusing to try and separate truth from lies because it is so difficult to face the truth while living the lies.
 
Practical information: keep changing that oil. My son's '92 Mazda has 280,000 miles on it and our '96 Chevy Caprice has 240,000 miles on it. Use a refinery oil such as Citgo or Amoco rather than a Pennsylvania oil that has too much ash in it which gets into the engine.
 
My parents and brother both own Ford vehicles. My parents own a van, and my brother owns a Focus. On top of that my dad's work truck is a Ford. They are all fine vehicles. However, when it comes to getting repairs we run into the same problem you did, Constance. For instance, the Focus was a having trouble with the brakes squeeling in cold weather. We took it in to the local Ford dealership, they fixed it, but lo and behold that very night the brakes were still squeeling. We've had similar problems with the other two Ford vehicles - they run great but they come out of the Ford repair shop in worse shape than they went in.
 
I had the same experience with our local Ford dealership/repair center. They wanted 85.00 to diagnose the cause of my rear wipers intermittant function from a vehicle I bought off their lot only months prior. I told them they were crazy, I'd go without it working. So, I removed the screw jiggled the arm, reset it it and it is working. I don't know why. My husband has Ford Ranger and took it in to be tested on their computer, it wouldn't start reliably and there was no pattern to it not working. They told us it would cost 700.00 for a bunch of new sensors, not including labor. ( the truck only had 87,000) We nearly died! We took it to a buddy, putting in the units they said were faulty for 120.00, it did not fix it, (good thing we didn't do the 700.00 route) and the mechanic said I really think it is a fuel pump problem, we had a new pump put in for 250.00 out the door and it has run fine ever since. So much for their mechanics. I have learned just find a disgruntled FORD mechanic, he will know the problem and fix it faster and far cheaper!
I want to add that part of their problem is the cost of a new vehicle, it's depreciation right off the lot, and then no courtesy or customer service once you get the car. You feel more like you are entering a bondage agreement with the service plans than a help. I have received three letters asking why I haven't visited for tune ups and oil changes~ well where does one start?
 
I suppose this is a very late comment. I agree with you, the sales of American cars would go up if the dealers were more honest in dealing with their customers. I have yet to find an honest dealership when it comes to car repairs. They take you for a ride particularly if you are a woman whom they consider car illiterate.
I went to a dealership to have an oil change and the sales person at the service department suggested more extensive service which I refused. Within two days of my visit my car started to hesitate. A friend sitting next to me said that her husband told her once that this is a transmission problem. It was late Saturday evening so all gas stations and service areas were closed. I stopped at a Murrays Autoparts discount Store and asked one sales person if he would check the level of my transmission fluid. To his suprise and his disbelief, the fluid was near empty. I had no leaks so who took off the fluid?
 
Just thought you'd like to know that someone did read your comment. I was talking to a man who was in repair at a GM dealership but who was now at Pep Boys and he said that repairs are so expensive because the car makers don't want cars to be repaired as much as they want to continue to sell new cars. He said that cars could be much simplier if there were no emission standards. Taking an older car into an emission standards place is asking for trouble. How many people have to get a new car because there was some kind of fluid leak or an idiot light that had a short!
 
Hi, Fellow!I like your blog!
I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with
the information you have posted here.
I have a used mitsubishi car dealers
site. It pretty much covers used mitsubishi car dealers related subjects.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Best regards!
 
t8NyGY actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.
 
Good job!
 
Good job!
 
Thanks to author.
 
Thanks to author.
 
Good job!
 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.
 
Please write anything else!
 
Wonderful blog.
 
Please write anything else!
 
Ekkdi9 write more, thanks.
 
Wonderful blog.
 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.
 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.
 
Good job!
 
Hello all!
 
actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.
 
Please write anything else!
 
Thanks to author.
 
Wonderful blog.
 
Please write anything else!
 
Good job!
 
Good job!
 
Nice Article.
 
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 
Save the whales, collect the whole set
 
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
 
Ever notice how fast Windows runs? Neither did I.
 
Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.
 
Beam me aboard, Scotty..... Sure. Will a 2x10 do?
 
If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.
 
Save the whales, collect the whole set
 
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!
 
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
 
Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!
 
Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.
 
Ever notice how fast Windows runs? Neither did I.
 
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies
 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?
 
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!
 
Magnific!
 
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
 
Please write anything else!
 
Clap on! , Clap off! clap@#&$NO CARRIER
 
All generalizations are false, including this one.
 
Clap on! , Clap off! clap@#&$NO CARRIER
 
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
 
Energizer Bunny Arrested! Charged with battery.
 
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.
 
Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.
 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?
 
Wonderful blog.
 
Ever notice how fast Windows runs? Neither did I.
 
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!
 
If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.
 
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
 
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
 
Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!
 
C++ should have been called B
 
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.
 
Hello all!
 
Thanks to author.
 
Energizer Bunny Arrested! Charged with battery.
 
Save the whales, collect the whole set
 
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies
 
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies
 
Calvin, we will not have an anatomically correct snowman!
 
Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.
 
C++ should have been called B
 
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?
 
If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.
 
Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Hello people want to express my satisfaction with this blog very creative and I really like the views of the focus very good indeed Thank you for the helpful information. I hope you keep up the good work on making your blog a success!
 
Hello, i think that this post is very good, i would like to read more about it
 
Another possible reason for the collapse of the major automakers are resale shops like CarMax. From them, you can buy a decent car for almost all brands and pay roughly the retail price of the real value of the car. They do not accept cars that were destroyed, they are maintenance staff knowledgeable and courteous and they'll even buy your car without having to sell. I have two cars from them and we will return. As Constance said, there are good products out there, but traders and customers of those hunting. Look what happened when Ford released the new Mustang. GT

I am a video games fan, WOW Items Gold make my account strong!Do you know where to Buy WOW Gold and Buy WOW Items,I know some sites sells Cheap WOW Items,taht sites also provede other game gold like some Cheap Tera Gold, you an have many choice choose a good place to Buy Tera Gold and WOW Gold !
 
The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past scarlet blade gold. To change your future, alter your decisions today scarlet blade gold, Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards scarlet blade gold, but it takes character to keep you there.
 
Life is like a hot bath. It feels good while you're in it, but the longer you stay in, the more wrinkled you get rs gold, Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who do not Runescape Gold, In the Orient young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner rs gold. Each is brought to the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance..
 
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]