Ford will introduce the Quality Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program into Canada this year, according to Jacques Boutin, director of commercial vehicles sales for Eastern Canada. The announcement was made at the Ford chassis seminar during the 37th annual Canadian Transportation Equipment Association/Association D'Equipement Du Transport Canada (CTEA/AETC) convention and exhibition September 11-14.
The Canadian QVM program will be very similar to the American QVM program, according to Boutin. Program administrators headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, will field all correspondence and questions concerning the implementation of the program, as well as questions concerning any QVM mechanical recommendations.
Gaining the Canadian QVM designation will be an ongoing process that emphasizes using Ford's recommended modifiers practices, as opposed to a static process of being inspected or tested, and then receiving the QVM designation, said Boutin. "Being a part of the QVM landscape requires that your company be driven to use the quality control processes that will help it manufacture the best vehicle possible."
Coming to a Province Near You The QVM program will be phased into all parts of Canada, with the existing Ford bailment pools as the primary launching point, Boutin said. Ford of Canada would like to see all commercial vehicle modifiers participate in the QVM program that fit the overall criteria.
Boutin also linked any possible future request for becoming a bailment pool to the applicant's recognizing the importance of attaining the QVM designation.
Fifty-four minimum requirements must be met in order to secure the first phase of the QVM designation. Additionally, 95 ancillary quality control issues are reviewed by Ford.
"What we want to see being manufactured is a product that mirrors the quality of Ford," said Boutin. If vehicle modifiers warranty mirrors or exceed the Ford base-vehicle warranty period, that would be a good example of the depth of quality that Ford customers would certainly appreciate.
A Contract, Not Certification The QVM program can help prepare better products for the consumer because the program is a contract between Ford and the vehicle modifier, Boutin said. The contract, which is a clear way to describe the expectations of both parties, should inevitably make a better product for the consumer.
Nevertheless, Boutin explained that the QVM program is not a certification program for individual vehicles. Being a partner in the QVM team does not provide a certification of the work that the vehicle modifier has performed.
Boutin says that he believes there shouldn't be any problems getting any of the Canadian vehicle modifiers in compliance with the QVM processes and procedures. He says that there are already Canadian ambulance, motorhome, and both yellow and white bus manufacturers that utilize procedures that are effectively in compliance with the QVM recommended practices.