12 June 2008 | Jake Kanter
Ford spent $4.2 billion (£2 billion) with its tier-one minority and women-owned suppliers last year.
The figure was a record for the automotive firm, $600 million (£411 million) more than the $3.6 billion (£1.8 billion) spent in 2006.
The company also spent a record amount with female suppliers, purchasing $1.2 billion (£615 million) of products and services from women-owned businesses.
In addition, the company's tier-one vendors spent $2.1 billion (£1 billion) with their minority suppliers - another high.
Tony Brown, group vice-president, global purchasing at Ford, said supporting supplier diversity was important to delivering quality, innovation and market competitiveness even during tough economic conditions.
The company has also appointed 10 minority suppliers to its strategic supplier scheme the Aligned Business Framework. They include wheel manufacturers and a steel-processing firm.