• Ford expects to exceed 10 percent minority- and women-owned sourcing goal in 2010
  • Ford purchased $2.7 billion worth of goods and services from tier one diverse suppliers in 2009
  • Ford provided new business worth more than $150 million to minority- and women-owned companies in 2009

DEARBORN, Mich. -Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), maintaining a strong commitment to supplier diversity, is on track this year to exceed its annual goal to source 10 percent of U.S. purchases with minority- and women-owned businesses.

In 2009, Ford purchased $2.7 billion worth of goods and services from its tier one minority- and women-owned businesses in the U.S., down from $3.3 billion in 2008. The decline is attributable to lower industry volumes. Despite the decrease in dollar amounts, the level of Ford’s U.S. diversity sourcing in 2009 remained at approximately 10 percent. Ford’s tier one suppliers purchased $1.02 billion from minority- and women-owned businesses in 2009, compared to $1.2 billion in 2008.

“These are difficult times for all auto suppliers, but minority- and women-owned businesses face their own set of unique challenges,” said Tony Brown, group vice president, Global Purchasing. “Because of this, Ford took proactive action to offer our diverse suppliers significant business opportunities, while at the same time providing support to others to improve their chances for long-term viability.”

Ford’s actions in 2009 include:

* Facilitated the sale of a portion of Meridian Automotive Systems business to Flex-N-Gate Corp. The sale expanded Flex-N-Gate’s product line by adding exterior vehicle lighting systems. Flex-N-Gate, based in Urbana, Ill., is an Asian-American supplier
* Supported Grupo Antolin Wayne by making a strategic decision to transfer a significant piece of interior headliner business from a mainstream supplier. Grupo Antolin Wayne, located in Canton, Mich., is an African-American supplier
* Sourced a global parts distribution contract to AEL-SPAN/UTi, an African-American supplier located in Belleville, Mich.
* Upgraded HUSCO International, a Hispanic supplier, to tier one status from tier two. As part of the upgrade, Ford sourced new powertrain manufacturing business to Husco, based in Waukesha, Wis.

These opportunities provided minority- and women-owned suppliers with new business valued at more than $150 million during a period when purchasing budgets and the supply base were being downsized.

Ford’s minority- and women-owned suppliers are also playing an important role in the company’s revitalized product line. Examples include:

* Dakkota Integrated Systems is providing fascias and headliners for the 2011 Ford Explorer, an all-new version of the vehicle that defined the SUV segment. Based in Holt, Mich., Dakkota is a woman- and Native American-owned supplier
* Piston Automotive, one of Ford’s largest minority-owned suppliers, is producing cooling modules and other powertrain parts for the Explorer. Piston, based in Detroit, is an African-American supplier
* Gonzalez Production Systems, a Hispanic-owned supplier, is expanding in Ford’s final manufacturing assembly area with its vision-aided robot technology. The company, based in Pontiac, Mich., has won contracts for the next-generation Focus, as well as another product from Ford’s global C-car platform

In the last year Ford also named four additional minority- and women-owned businesses to its Aligned Business Framework (ABF), a group of preferred suppliers that Ford has selected for collaborative, long-term relationships. The four are Piston Automotive; Saturn Electronics, an Asian-American manufacturer of electromechanical components in Rochester Hills, Mich.; Uniworld Group, Ford’s African-American advertising agency of record, based in New York; and Zubi Advertising, Ford’s Hispanic agency of record, based in Miami.

There are now 13 minority- and women-owned suppliers among the 89 companies in the ABF network.

SOURCE: FORD MOTOR COMPANY