“Habits” (#1413)

Internet Premiere
Friday, 4/9 @ 12:00pm ET
Detroit Public TV
Sunday, 4/11 @ 10:30am ET
(Original Airdate)

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  1. PLAYING: Entire Show

  2. Open: John's Opening Thoughts

  3. Segment 1: Ford Quality


    • Bennie Fowler, Group VP, Global Quality, Ford


  4. Close: John's Closing Thoughts



Bennie Fowler, Group VP, Global Quality, Ford, Bryce Hoffman, The Detroit News, Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press. Topic: Ford Quality.

They're defined as acquired behavior patterns that are uniquely involuntary. Known to most of the planet as habits, they come from two camps. Some can be bad if it's a personal glitch or foible while others might be good if it leads to a desired end product.

Especially if that product is quality. After all, it was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who was first to recognize some 2,300 years ago that "Quality is not an act, it is a habit." Unfortunately, during the late 20th century, American car makers weren't reading much Aristotle, or so it seemed.

Today we're not sure if the Greek Philosopher has become required auto industry reading or not, but we can say with certainty that U.S. quality numbers are up and up significantly. And on this week's Autoline, one of the executives in charge of that change joins John McElroy and his panel to tell us how they're doing it. Bennie Fowler has been on the front lines of this issue for more than three decades. From his days at General Motors in the '70s and '80s into his early years at Ford, he observed the mistakes, the lack of quality, the bad habits if you will, that the American OEMs had eased into. For the last four years he has been in charge of reversing that trend at Ford. And if you look at the numbers, he, and many others in the company, appear to be doing just that.

Joining John on this week's panel are Brent Snavely with Detroit Free Press and Bryce Hoffman of The Detroit News.