ford cougar_new

Total Planning & Management was the major contributor se-
lected by AutoAlliance International (joint effort between
Mazda Motors and Ford Motor Company) to act as the man-
agement and operating entity to conduct this drive evaluation
program. The target vehicle was the new Ford Cougar
launched from the Assembly Plant located in Flat Rock, Mich-

We were assigned a fleet of 60 Ford Cougar (code name
SW-164 New Model Launch) vehicles equipped with a cross
section of option content. These vehicles were final phase
pre-production units built specifically for this drive evaluation.
Once the vehicles were release to us we then began the task
of rapid mileage accumulation over a 14 week period with
specific targets identified by the Launch Team:

Surface vehicle functional concerns prior to Job No. 1 that
can only be identified through rapid mileage accumulation.

Prove out plant and equipment facilities as process capa-
ble under the stress of a full production run.

Build a data base of significant customer opinions as a re-
porting tool for early customer feedback from targeted de-

In order to be successful at attaining these targets we prepared
and organized our operation to minimize risk associated with cost and timing.

A minimum of 16-24 vehicles were driven ten hours daily in
areas local to the Michigan area. Mileage targets were set at ap-
proximately 480 miles per day per vehicle. Drivers were sent out
in teams of 4-5 with a driver leader controlling the team. Vehicle
concerns were noted in a diary kept in each vehicle. Each drive
leader was equipped with cell phone capability so that they
always remained in constant contact with launch headquarters
or available to the launch team by any member needing special in-
formation regarding vehicle concerns as they surface.

Each drive evaluator was required to submit a completed evalua-
tion form on a daily basis for input into the concern database.

All vehicles were repaired at a fully staffed diagnostic and repair
facility adjacent to the Plant that also functioned as TPM’s Drive
Evaluation Headquarters.

It was our responsibility to schedule all vehicles into the Repair
Facility as required to complete repairs and perform necessary
diagnostics. No repairs were made without the responsible en-
gineer’s presence and approval. Normal maintenance was con-
ducted by TPM and did not require engineering approval.

Ford Marketing had determined that the target buyer of the new
Cougar would be females age 20-34. To provide the maximum
integrity to the drive evaluation TPM recruited drivers that fit this

Included in the evaluation program was a special extended drive
of approximately 6,000 miles encompassing eight vehicles. The
purpose of the extended drive was to place the vehicles under
stress from environmental conditions (desert, mountains, etc.)
which were not available in the local Michigan area.

Our evaluator’s documented concerns formed the basis of final
vehicle engineering and parts revisions that helped pave the way
for a successful Job No. 1 launch.

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