Some companies are easily recognizable for their vehicles’ attributes. On a sad note, that can also happen due to their defects. Check what Darren Palmer said, for example. In an interview with Autoblog, Ford’s Global Product Development Director for BEVs mentioned the Mustang Mach-E’s “bumpers don’t fall off, the roof doesn’t come off when you wash it,” and more. If anyone made any connection with any competitor, it was not him. Did you?
If your answer is “yes,” this is precisely why we insist automakers have to take measures to protect their reputations. We have written about this multiple times already and brought situations that needed to be addressed immediately by the companies involved.
Palmer did not stop on those two problems. He also claimed that the Mach-E’s “doors fit properly, the plastics and other materials color-match,” and “the door handles don’t get stuck in cold weather.” Our audience will also recognize these descriptions, perhaps even with a personal experience about them to share.
For now, Palmer is only saying what he expects the Mach-E to be. What it really is depends on customers' experience with the new electric crossover. While they do not receive and use it, the executive's words just reflect his hope the Mach-E will not have relevant quality issues. To be fair, Ford has had its share of problems with combustion-engined vehicles – such as with the PowerShift transmission. As far as we know, at least it has been upfront to the involved buyers.
What Ford can say is that it tested the Mach-E for millions of miles. That's what you do to try to ensure the production vehicles are robust enough for people not to be concerned about buying them. Yet, we will only be sure about that when customers start talking about the car.
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The issues Palmer reported only came to our knowledge after buyers started reporting them. In some cases, they had to face other clients from the same companies accusing them of wanting to bring these carmakers down when they were just looking for help.
In this case, it is clear Palmer was elegant enough not to name any competitor about presenting these issues. We have also not mentioned any other automaker here precisely to show it was not necessary. More than a concern for that company, it is a warning about what should matter: quality control and a better customer experience instead of volumes. High sales numbers should not be a goal, but the consequence of products that deserves them.