Twitter You Tube Facebook Autobodynews Linked In

Thursday, 13 May 2010 15:33

Ford Promotes Favorable Repair and Insurance Cost Data

Ford Motor Company is promoting that its vehicles cost less to repair, after a collision on average, than all other vehicles in their segments, according to a new U.S. government report based on insurance claims database. Auto insurance companies often factor in model-specific claims data in setting premium costs. Approximately 78 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models rated at or better than the industry average, nearly double Toyota's 40 percent (including Scion and Lexus), says Ford.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2010 Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information Booklet shows more Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles lead their segments for the lowest collision insurance cost than any other automaker.  The report will be available in all dealerships this spring to help consumers anticipate repair costs that insurers rely on for setting insurance rates.

Ford has 10 segments leaders, including Taurus, Focus and F-Series trucks, from the 2007-2009 model years, more than three times as many as Toyota and Honda combined.  The NHTSA ratings based on claim costs data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"Vehicle affordability continues to be the most important purchase consideration for car and truck buyers, rivaled only by fuel economy," said Frederiek Toney, vice president, Ford Customer Service Division.  "We design our vehicles to be easier and more affordable to repair because we know this saves our customers money in insurance premiums and repair costs over the long term."

According to NHTSA, Ford's 10 segment-leading 2009 model year vehicles include:

* Ford Focus – Small Cars (four-door)
* Ford Taurus – Large Cars (four-door)
* Ford F-150 – Large Pickups (two-door)
* Ford F-150 Super Cab 4WD – Large Pickups (two-door-plus)
* Ford F-250 4WD – Very Large Pickups (two-door)
* Ford F-250 Super Cab – Very Large Pickups (two-door-plus)
* Ford E-350 Econoline wagon – Cargo/Passenger Vans (tied with Chevrolet Express 3500)
* Mercury Grand Marquis – Very Large Cars (four-door)
* Mercury Mariner 4WD – Small SUV
* Lincoln Town Car – Very Large Luxury Cars

In 2009, Ford opened a Paint and Body Technology Center to leverage the combined expertise of Ford's repair and safety experts, auto repair technicians and insurance companies to identify design solutions and repair procedures that will lower repair costs.

"If your vehicle costs less to repair, it generally costs less to insure," said Gerry Bonanni, Ford damageability collision repair senior engineer.  "We're working harder to help reduce insurers' repair costs by developing more affordable repairs earlier in a vehicle's development."

"It's great that Ford gets insurance industry insight about how to improve repairability of its vehicle designs," said Mark Woirol, project manager with Allstate Insurance Company's Tech-Cor Applied Research Center, which works with automakers, insurers and repairers to make cars more damage-resistant and repair methods more cost-efficient.  "We've never been as involved in an automaker's product development process as we have since Ford invited us to participate."

For example, Ford Focus maintained its hold on the top spot in the four-door small car segment thanks in part to a bumper design improvements.

"Ford's repair-ability experts and safety engineers made the Focus's bumper bigger and stronger to better protect adjacent components," said Larry Coan, Ford damageability engineer. "The new technology center will help us build on these leading efforts."

Higher resale values, fewer warranty repairs

In another key area of vehicle affordability, Ford's resale values outpaced the industry by rising 23 percent according to the latest National Automobile Dealers Association auction data.  The gains resulted from stronger demand for Ford's new vehicles and improved quality and durability ratings.

"Rising resale values means more money in customers' pockets when it is time to sell or trade in for a new vehicle," Toney said. "Combine these savings with lower repair and maintenance costs and better fuel economy, and the cost to own a Ford product drops dramatically over the life of the vehicle."

* Many Ford Motor Company vehicles are the most affordable vehicles repair after collisions in their respective segments,  according to a report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration based on insurance claims costs; Insurers use this model-specific data to help establish auto insurance premiums

* Ford has 10 segments leaders, including Taurus, Focus and F-Series trucks, from the 2007-2009 model years, more than three times as many as Toyota and Honda combined.  The NHTSA ratings based on claim costs data from the Highway Loss Data Institute

* Ford in 2009 established a special engineering and technical center in Allen Park, Mich., to help lower the cost of collision repair for Ford vehicles


Read 1905 times