Ford Motor Company North America set a new record in purchasing spend from minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) in 2007. Ford purchased a record $4.2 billion in goods and services from tier one minority-owned suppliers and broke through the billion-dollar barrier by spending $1.2 billion with tier one women-owned suppliers.

Ford's tier one suppliers also achieved an all-time record high, sourcing a combined $2.1 billion with tier two minority- and women-owned business enterprises. In 2006, Ford purchased a combined $5.4 billion in goods and services from its minority- and women-owned business enterprises, including direct spending of $1.8 billion in purchases at the tier two level.

"Despite tough economic conditions, Ford continues to maintain leadership in supplier diversity development," said Tony Brown, group vice president, Global Purchasing. "Ford's diverse suppliers are an important component of the company's goal in delivering profitable growth through supplier contributions to quality, innovation and market competitiveness."

The 2007 increase reflects continued efforts to sustain and grow production and non-production business with minority- and women-owned business enterprises within the company's base of strategic suppliers in Ford's Aligned Business Network (ABF). The ABF program emphasizes stronger collaboration between Ford and its suppliers and provides greater opportunity for minority- and women-owned business enterprises to build scale, achieve profitable growth and become sustainable enterprises over the long term.

Last year, Ford expanded its ABF network, which now includes 10 minority- and women-owned suppliers. These ABF suppliers include:

* Bing Group
* Dakkota
* Devon Industrial Group
* Evigna
* East West Industrial Engineering (EWIE)
* Flex-N-Gate
* Global Parts & Maintenance
* Gonzalez Production Systems
* Grupo Antolin Wayne
* Prime Wheel

"This is about economic empowerment and working with our minority- and women-owned suppliers to operate profitably together," said Armando Ojeda, director, Supplier Diversity Development, Global Purchasing. "Ford also understands the importance of maintaining a supply base that reflects its customer base."