The Detroit Free Press reports that Ford has caught up with production and quality inspection issues with the new Lincoln MKZ and that the pipeline to the dealers will be full in a matter of days.
Parts shortages and Lincoln’s desire to give each car a complete quality inspection, along with issues integrating MKZ production at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant, already running three shifts following the launch of the all-new Ford Fusion, meant a slower than anticipated rollout of the car. Ford had set up a secondary inspection site at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant because the Hermosillo facility could not inspect them quickly enough.
Some of the cars shipped to Flat Rock had to wait for trim parts that were in short supply. Some buyers waiting for ordered cars had to have the leases on their current rides extended while they waited for those parts to be installed. Lincoln has been working with dealers and customers to smooth over any ruffled feathers.
Now that issues with trim parts have been resolved and Hermosillo is producing 100 MKZs a day, compared to 100 cars a week as it had been making, FoMoCo’s president of the America’s John Hinrichs said that the pipeline will be full by the end of March and that the Dearborn automaker and its Lincoln dealers will have normal inventory levels of the MKZ in April. Overall, Ford is increasing 2nd quarter production by 800,000 units over last year, a 9% bump.
Lincoln had hoped to have this kind of inventory of the MKZ back in January. Hinrichs said that as inventory levels have improved in recent weeks, so have Lincoln sales.