QUALITY LAPSES delayed the production launch of Europe's Ford Cougar for two months, but Ford says the story has a happy ending.
'I would dare to say it's better this way,' said Cougar brand manager Alain Visser. 'We're giving Focus 100 percent of our attention first, instead of having a simultaneous launch.'
Ford is introducing its Focus across Europe this month.
Richard Parry-Jones, Ford's group vice president of product development, and Will Boddie, vice president of Ford's Small and Medium Vehicle Center, didn't like what they saw when they reviewed the first Cougars headed for Europe.
'They did not approve it,' said Visser. 'It wasn't just one thing, there were many little things, in terms of craftsmanship.'
US sales had already started in May, but Job One for Europe was delayed from 22 June to 17 August.
This pushed back the planned Europe-wide launch from 24 September to a launch in France on 28 September at the Paris auto show. Dealers in the rest of Europe will begin getting cars in October.
Advertising campaigns were also delayed. In the UK, ads begin in December.