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Ford Member
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Although the Job1 date for the new Thunderbird is still 5/21, it appears that delivery may be held back for several months, a'la the Explorer. When I asked my dealer about the rumored delay, he preplied:

"Our field rep told me that Ford will hold the first units produced for 90 days prior to shipping. That won't necessarily push back your order. Production will continue while units are in storage. The idea behind the delay in shipping the first three months build is to identify any problems in the initial build that could potentially be recalled later. If something needs to be changed, Ford can do it at the plant and then ship. Ford is using this same approach with the new Explorer. Explorer production started in December, and the first units shipped February 15th. They are coming in at a normal rate now."

Dealers were crying about too many recalls. This looks like Ford's answer. Too bad for customers who paid an extra premium in hopes of early delivery. They'll get theirs at the same time as those with lower priority.
 

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Multi Car Owner
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930 Posts
Kinda scarey that they hold a car for 90 days to see if it has any troubles. At that price one would think it woul dbe done right and SHIP IT.
 

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Mustang Member
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5 Posts
I wopuld rather they keep them and make sure everything is right than have something go wrong while I'm out for a drive. Had a new 1970 Camaro, one week after it was delivered, it cought fire. So let them check it over.
 

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Multi Car Owner
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930 Posts
Maybe all car companies do this. But I find it sorta of scarey. They should atleast put it anothre way so it sounds better. "AH, we're going to hold the cars for 3 months to make sure there are no problems" What about jsut testing some of them long be4 it get time to ship them.
 

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Ford Member
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
always testing

About 25 years ago I worked as a test engineer at the Dearborn proving grounds, so perhaps I can shed some light - assuming things are done the same way now as then. Testing begins on computer models before the first prototype is ever assembled. Prototype testing continues right up to the Job1 date. In the case of the Thunderbird that would be two years or longer. Once the production build is available, testing starts under actual driving conditions. Cars are driven on the street and test track 24x7 in an effort to weed out all the problems that will occur during the first year of release. Normally this will take place in the first month or two of manufacturing. It looks like Ford wants to extend this period to 4-5 months, probably for several reasons.

First, they did encounter some rear end stability issues during the prototype phase. I'd bet one or more of the X-braces was added as a design fix, so they want to make sure they got it right. Secondly, this is their flagship product. They are trying to avoid recalls for both the dealers' and customers' sake. Once production gets under way, they will likely do random sample tests, setting aside one or more cars a month for exhaustive road testing to guard against any manufacturing mistakes that might occur. This might be done for the first six months of production or in the case of the T-bird for the entire run. No matter how much testing you do, it's never enough. There's always the chance that something might appear under unusual circumstances that the engineers hadn't anticipated. Anyway, by the time you or I get behind the wheel most of the defects should be corrected. Even then, cars are like computer programs, you can never get all the bugs out. You try to get it to the point where the product is within acceptable bounds.
 
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FORD T-BIRD

I AM A TEST DRIVER FOR FORD AND WE DO ROAD TESTING FOR
NEW MAKES AND WE ARE DOING DESERT TESTING IN PHOENIX,
ARIZONA WITH THE 2002 FORD THUNDERBIRD AND THE REASON
THE DEALERS WILL NOT HAVE THEM IS BECAUSE THEY ARE TAKING
ORDERS FOR THEM THE FIRST YEAR, I HAVE BEEN DRIVING A PROTO TYPE AND IT IS A VERY NICE CAR AND BOY WILL IT MOVE.
IT IS WORTH THE 35000.00-40000.00 THAT THEY WILL BE SELLING
FOR, ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE E-MAIL.
 

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Ford Member
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Re: FORD T-BIRD

HYDE2 said:
I AM A TEST DRIVER FOR FORD AND WE DO ROAD TESTING FOR
NEW MAKES AND WE ARE DOING DESERT TESTING IN PHOENIX,
ARIZONA WITH THE 2002 FORD THUNDERBIRD [...] ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE E-MAIL.
Hey there, HYDE2. Just wondered if you got my email questions. Didn't hear back...
 

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Mustang/Cougar Member
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272 Posts
Just remember that we live in a non perfect world. If you are buying an assembly line car, there is always a chance that you will get one that has problems that others don't experiance. I for one have a 99 Cougar, first year of that generation and have no problems to report after two year and still love my car!;)
 
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