Ford Brings Together Suppliers, Small Businesses to Help Grow Michigan Economy Through Matchmaking Summit

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DEARBORN, MI--March 21, 2013:

  • Ford is matching 12 of its purchasing teams and 30 of its Tier 1 purchasing teams with qualified Michigan suppliers, which can help spur economic growth and increase jobs in the state
  • Ford-hosted matchmaking summit is first of its type for OEMs; Ford has successful history of bringing together suppliers and small businesses, especially women, minority and veteran-owned businesses
  • A Center for Automotive Research (CAR) study released today finds that opportunities for Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in Michigan are growing

Ford is playing matchmaker today with its suppliers and additional small businesses, aiming to help grow the economy and add jobs in Michigan.

The 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit, hosted by Ford and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber, provides an opportunity for Michigan businesses to help other Michigan businesses grow and be more competitive.  

Ford is bringing 12 of its purchasing teams together with 30 of its Tier 1 purchasing teams to connect them to qualified Michigan suppliers. The company spent more than $15 billion last year with Michigan suppliers.

"The participation of Ford in Pure Michigan Business Connect opens the door to millions of dollars per year in additional procurement opportunities that may not have been previously available to Michigan suppliers," said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. "Furthermore, Ford's agreeing to be the first OEM to host a Pure Michigan Business Connect Matchmaking Summit brings this commitment to life."

Ford started the process by asking its Tier 1 suppliers what they needed to source. The MEDC received more than 7,400 responses from nearly 1,000 Michigan companies interested in participating. From there, event organizers arranged nearly 700 matchmaking discussions for today.

"Michigan has a wealth of businesses that can help Ford continue growing as a global automotive leader," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. "It is smart business for Ford and for a variety of companies and industries to tap into the outstanding network we have here in Michigan."

A study released today by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) finds opportunities for Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in Michigan are growing and that this growth can help spur the state's economy and increase jobs.

As an example, CAR examined the impact of the $770 million investment Ford made in the past two years to convert its Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) from building trucks to being the only plant in the world to build vehicles with five powertrain systems across the Focus and C-MAX vehicle lines. This investment is core to meeting Ford's global standard for flexible manufacturing.

When direct and indirect employment is taken into account, MAP influences nearly 24,000 jobs in Michigan and 48,000 throughout the United States. In addition, Tier 1 suppliers located in the state account for the single largest share of MAP's total purchase value, $1.1 billion, or 34 percent of the $3.2 billion total in annual parts purchases annually.

Other matchmaking success stories

The 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit mirrors efforts by Ford to engage and match qualified minority, women and veteran-owned businesses with its business and supplier network. Ford has an annual goal of sourcing at least 10 percent of U.S. purchases from these types of businesses and encourages its suppliers to follow suit.

Two success stories from the past year include pairing minority-owned Detroit Thermal Systems and women-owned Detroit Manufacturing Systems:

  • Detroit Thermal Systems, a joint venture between Valeo and V. Johnson Enterprises, a minority-owned supplier, produces climate control systems and components for the automotive industry, including supporting current product supply commitments to Ford
  • Detroit Manufacturing Systems is a joint venture between Faurecia and Rush Group Ltd., part of the Rush Group of companies that includes one of Ford's largest minority and women-owned suppliers. Detroit Manufacturing Systems provides injection molding, assembly and sequencing of interior trim parts

Of the 317 Michigan-based small businesses that were invited for the 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit, 103 are minority-owned, 84 are women-owned and 82 are veteran and disabled-veteran-owned.

"The 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit is a great opportunity to bring outstanding businesses together for their mutual benefit, as well as to benefit Michigan's economy," said Tony Brown, Ford group vice president, Global Purchasing. "Ford is committed to helping further facilitate the dialogue started today as we all look forward to the significant value these relationships can bring."

For more information about the CAR study, visit Car Group . For more information about MEDC, go to Michigan Advantage and the Detroit Regional Chamber at Detroit Chamber .

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