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Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by Mchaga, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Mchaga

    Mchaga JF-Expert Member

    Jan 29, 2010
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    Ford halts some China production after Toyota's woes

    Toyota's coveted safety record took a major new hit as a massive recall caused by an accelerator …

    NEW YORK (AFP) – US automaker Ford said Thursday it was suspending production of a commercial vehicle sold in China which may be suffering the same accelerator problems as rival Toyota.

    "We think it's pretty isolated but we are aggressively running it to ground," Ford chief executive officer Alan Mulally told reporters.

    The suspension is a precautionary measure which will allow Ford and its Chinese partner to review the vehicles produced with a pedal made by the supplier of Toyota's problematic pedals.

    "We have not determined whether we have a problem there or not yet," Mulally said during a conference call discussing the automaker's year-end results.

    "We're continuing with our investigation and then we'll take the appropriate action."

    Related article: Toyota recalls test family scion's mettle.

    Ford has experienced no accidents or problems with the 1,663 vehicles built in China since it began using those pedals in December, spokesman Said Deep told AFP.

    No other Ford vehicles have been made with the problematic pedal and production of all other Ford vehicles worldwide will continue as scheduled, he stressed.

    The recall is not good news for Ford, but is an "appropriate reaction" because automakers "need to respond with an abundance of caution and be proactive" about safety issues, said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Global Insight.

    "The impact of a recall is often judged on when the manufacturer knew about the problem and when they did something about it," she told AFP.
    "They can either come out looking like a hero if they responded immediately or looking like a villain if they don't respond quickly."

    Toyota suspended sales of some of its most popular vehicles in the United States on Tuesday after recalling 2.3 million US cars and trucks last week because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals.

    Toyota said that in rare cases, the pedal mechanism on those vehicles could become worn and harder to depress, or get stuck in a partially depressed position.

    On Thursday, Toyota said the recalls would expand to Europe and China and the Japanese giant recalled 1.1 million US vehicles to replace floor mats that could trap accelerator pedals.

    The total number of cars and trucks affected by that action now stands at almost 5.3 million -- equivalent to more than two-thirds of Toyota's worldwide sales last year of 7.81 million vehicles.

    Mulally said he hopes Ford will be able to grow its market share by taking advantage of the trouble at Toyota.

    "With the void now for people needing vehicles I'm sure there's going to be more interest in Ford," Mulally said as he praised the automaker's lineup.
    Ford's Chinese partner, Jiangling Motors Company, said its recall affects light buses built in Nanchang which are only distributed in China.

    "While there has been no report of any issue with the Transit, JMC has initiated a review of a pedal assembly part recently sourced from CTS Automotive," Jiangling said in a statement.

    "The single Transit model affected by the CTS pedal review, the Transit Classic, represents fewer than 2,000 units."

    CTS said Wednesday it "has been actively working with Toyota for a while to develop a new pedal to meet tougher specifications from Toyota."
    "The newly designed pedal is now tested and parts are beginning to ship to some Toyota factories," CTS said in a statement.

    The announcement came as Ford reported its first annual profit since 2005 despite a turbulent year for the auto industry which led to the bankruptcies of its Detroit rivals.

    Ford reported net earnings of 868 million dollars in the fourth quarter, enabling the struggling automaker to show a 2.7-billion-dollar profit for all of 2009.