The Ford name has been synonymous with the car industry since the beginning of cars themselves. For instance, the Model T was the world’s first mass-produced car back in 1908 (selling around 15 million units) and the very first moving assembly line was invented by Ford, a concept that is still used in modern car production today.
Ford continued to be a prevalent force in the industry throughout the 20th century and Ford still dominates the UK car market today with a huge market share of about 12%. They also have the second largest market share in the US, only to be beat by General Motors.
The fact that they dominate car markets year-in, year-out tells us that they must be doing something right, right?
However, although Ford was once the undisputed king of motoring, recent times have seen them begin to slip down the leaderboards. Despite their popularity, the car manufacturer have experienced a bit of a reputation problem, with naysayers partaking in some elaborate name-calling… F.O.R.D – “Fix Or Repair Daily”, “Found On The Road Dead”, “Found On Rubbish Dumps”, “Failure Of Research & Development” just to name a few. Even if they are market leaders in sales, they apparently aren’t leading in reliability scores and consumer satisfaction and there’s a whole community of Ford-haters that has thousands of passionate members. So, why is this?
Well, let’s start with the modern day Fiesta (2008-2017) and Focus (2011-2017), two extremely popular modern cars.
Although they are ever-popular and well-loved, Auto Express ranks Ford near the bottom for the most reliable car manufacturers in 2016 and several car blogs, such as Auto Guide and Consumer Reports, ranks these cars amongst the most unreliable motors available! This is probably because of the reports of Fiestas having problems
such as water leaks in the cabin, problems with the speakers, rattling side doors, gearbox problems and the diesel Fiestas running a risk of developing injector problems as well. As for the Focus, there’s been talks of transmission troubles (especially in the automatic models), cylinder misfires, doors not locking in freezing weather, electric window faults and steering assist malfunctions.
Although these problems do seem rare and confined, they’re still happening, leading to some very negative reviews and some online Ford-hating forums.
But with all that said, positive reviews of these cars generally seem to outnumber the negative ones. In fact, What Car found that the Focus needed parts to be replaced less often than most other cars of the same class. With the cambelt, gearbox, brake calipers and clutch all commonly not needing replacement until after 100,000 miles.
The Fiesta, being one of the most popular cars on the UK’s roads, was also found to be above average for reliability with similar stats. Afterall, bad reviews always stand out more than good ones and the same goes for reputation. It only takes a few negative stories to bring doubt to a reputable brand like Ford.
The Ford cars in the UK are actually pretty good, so why do these derogatory acronyms exist? Well, after hours of searching the internet it appears that the derogatory name-calling usually cannot be backed up with anything more than anecdotal claims of poor build quality or anomalous faults with the car that only they have experienced. In fact, similar acronyms exist for every other major car manufacturer, no matter how well they make their cars. Audi: Another Ugly Deutsche Invention – Honda: Had One, Never Did Again – Fiat: Fix It Again Tomorrow – Toyota: The One You Ought To Avoid.
At the end of the day, everyone has their own perception of car brands. Some think of Ford as cheap and poorly made, others think of Fords as reasonably priced and consumer-friendly. They don’t need fixing or repairing daily and don’t actually break down anymore than the average car. After all, it’s not a Lotus…