Having made what can only be described as a spectacular renaissance over the last decade, the Ford Motor Company has the “recovery” stage in its rearview mirror, and is now looking to enter a period of growth and expansion. As The Blue Oval enters this new and exciting stage both in its home market and internationally, so can its suppliers.
Interestingly, the global nature of Ford’s new product portfolio presents some lucrative opportunities for its suppliers, which have the chance to supply Ford outside the U.S. In fact, Ford believes that the global expansion of its supply base is key as it prepares to launch the most vehicles globally in a single year in more than a century — 23 globally and 16 in North America. And as today’s economic landscape dictates an ever-stronger reason for globalization, it introduces suppliers to essential component for growth and competitiveness.
“Our suppliers are encouraged to expand their operations globally to the extent that there is a viable and sustainable business model that supports it,” said Ford Motor Company’s group vice president of global purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang. “2014 is a key year for growth as we enter into one of our most aggressive product launch years ever. As we grow, our suppliers have the opportunity to grow with us.”
Through mentorship from Ford, a group of its diverse suppliers — which are part of Ford’s Supplier Diversity Program — has entered the global landscape, including:
- EWIE Co. Inc., an Asian Indian-owned company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which provides tool management to Ford’s manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Romania, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia
- Piston Automotive, an African American company based in Redford, Michigan, which supplies the high voltage battery pack for the Focus Electric. Piston ships the battery pack to Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant and the Saarlouis Assembly Plant in Germany.
- Flex-N-Gate Corporation (FNG), an Asian Indian-owned company based in Urbana, IL., which provides bumper and fascia systems, stampings and exterior trim components to support the Ford F-150 and Fusion. FNG’s global footprint includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and South America.