Ford has a lot riding on the 2020 Explorer, but there’s no hiding the fact that the model’s launch has been a disaster.
The Detroit Free Press has been keeping close tabs on the fiasco and they detailed countless issues with the crossover last month. Among the issues cited are problems with the chassis, transmission, suspension and air-conditioning system. The company can’t even get the basics right as some models have reportedly been shipped with missing emblems and trim pieces as well as the wrong wheels.
The issues have already resulted in two recalls and plenty of upset customers. Ford has also had to ship thousands of Explorers and Lincoln Aviators from the Chicago plant where they are built to the Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan where workers are forced to fix the problems.
That’s pretty bad news for Ford and the issues have caused sales to plummet. Unsurprisingly, Wall Street isn’t happy and Bloomberg says investors are losing their patience with Ford CEO Jim Hackett.
It’s not hard to see why as publication noted Ford stock has fallen 15% since Hackett assumed the role in 2017. Analysts are also expecting a disappointing third quarter as the automaker is slated to post lower profits and revenues than last year.
The Explorer problems are factoring into this as Morningstar analyst David Whiston said, “This Explorer issue is going to be a big negative for the quarter. It’s a viciously competitive market and you don’t want to be missing one of your big hitters.”
A lot of the problems are being blamed on the company’s Chicago plant which has a hostile work environment according to some employees. Ford dismissed that by saying it wasn’t aware of any recent issues involving employees intimidating one another, but the plant is reportedly suffering high turnover rates and is “riven with dissension that’s hampering productivity and quality.”