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Ford's Supplier Diversity Development Program: 35 Years Of Empowering Minority, Women And Veteran Business Owners

DEARBORN, Mich., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 
  • Ford's award-winning Supplier Diversity Development (SDD) program celebrates its 35 th anniversary; since 1978 Ford has spent more than $67 billion with diverse suppliers
  • In 2012 Ford spent $5.7 billion with tier-one minority-owned suppliers, $1.2 billion with tier-one women-owned suppliers, and $2.1 billion with tier-one suppliers who use tier-two minority- and women-owned businesses
  • A diverse supplier base brings a fresh perspective that can lead to cutting-edge innovations and help accelerate the development of new vehicles

Ford's Supplier Diversity Development (SDD) program celebrates 35 years of cultivating successful relationships between the company and its minority-, women- and veteran-owned supplier businesses.

Ford has spent $67 billion through the program since its launch in 1978, working with 400-plus diverse and minority suppliers; more than 25 of these companies have been doing business with Ford for more than 20 years.

"Diversity and inclusion are keys to our success at Ford," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. "For 35 years we have been committed to building a supplier base that reflects our employees, our customers and our shareholders. A broad and diverse supplier base reinforces our commitment to the communities where we live and work."

The SDD program empowers entrepreneurs like John A. James by providing them with the resources to be successful. For instance, Ford sold James 23 used diesel trucks from its private fleet to use for his trucking business in 1972. James, an African-American veteran, is chairman, CEO and founder of an international supply chain logistics company, James Group International. He has worked with Ford since 1972 – a year after he founded his first business.  

"Minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses have made substantial contributions to Ford's profitable growth," said Tony Brown, group vice president, global purchasing. "James Group International is an outstanding example of how our SDD program partners us with the best suppliers in the world, which has helped us produce quality vehicles over the last 35 years for our customers."

By identifying high-potential minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses and giving them the resources to be successful, Ford can tap a fresh perspective that can lead to cutting-edge innovation and help accelerate the development of vehicles.

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