07 October 2008 | Jake Kanter
Ford is to give minority suppliers access to its future engineering hub to help them develop innovative new products.
Vendors chosen to be part of the company's new "joint technology framework" will be able to take advantage of the findings of experts at Ford's Research and Advanced Engineering Group. The US car giant uses the research and engineering project to anticipate future automotive trends and develop new products.
Tony Brown, vice-president of global purchasing at Ford, said it wants suppliers to compete on the technological advances they can provide, as well as cost. "Under the joint technology framework, we will work with our suppliers on innovating new products allowing them to attract the engineering talent and new sources of capital to migrate these technologies to the next level."
Ford has already selected six minority and women-owned suppliers to join the framework, including wheel manufacturer Prime Wheel and steel-processing firm Bing Group.
Look out for SM's cover feature on the automotive industry in the October 16 issue of the magazine