2017 Ford Escape Starts Production in Louisville, In Dealers May
Ford Touts Extensive Quality Control Measures
The Ford Escape is one of the top-selling crossovers in the country and among Ford’s top-sellers, behind only the F-Series truck and Fusion midsize sedan. For the 2017 model year, the Escape gets a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh, with updates to styling, features, and powertrain to better meet the needs of compact crossover buyers.
To ensure customers get the quality experience they’re looking for, Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky, plant where the Escape is made has added several new quality assurance steps to increase precision on the production line. The Louisville plant is the first Ford plant in North America to employ robotic instrument panel decking, ensuring a consistent, repeatable installation that minimizes squeaks and rattles. Robots also hang and install the doors and liftgate.
However, the human touch is not entirely eliminated in the process. Suction cups are placed on the finished doors to measure door closing effort, which is done by a line worker, and the amount of effort measured by the computer to ensure it is within acceptable specifications. A robotic scan of panel gaps takes place before final inspection, which is performed by a 14-person team that tests electronics, engine, and other key subsystems. The Escape is the first Ford product to ship with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and offers available lane-keeping assist, active cruise control, and parking assistance. The 2017 Escape will be available in dealers starting May 2016.