The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) recently named Ford Motor Company as one of America’s top corporations for its support of women-owned suppliers. The honor, part of WBENC’s 13th annual listing of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises, is the only national award that recognizes corporations for world-class programs that level the playing field for women’s business enterprises. Ford is now the first automaker to have earned the award.
Ford earned praise from WBENC by developing innovative practices that have resulted in business partnerships with women entrepreneurs, as well as valuable products and services for customers.
In 2011, the automaker spent $1.06 billion with women-owned suppliers in the U.S. – a 22 percent increase from 2010’s $866 million. Since 2009, Ford has more than doubled its sourcing with women-owned businesses.
The women-owned businesses with which Ford has partnered include:
- Dura Automotive Systems (Auburn Hills, Michigan), owned by Lynn Tilton’s Patriarch Partners investment company. In addition to several products and technologies, Dura supplies the award-winning heated power rear sliding window for the F-150 pickup.
- Systrand Manufacturing (Brownstown, Michigan), owned by Sharon Cannarsa. Systrand produces machined parts for the next generation of Ford’s hybrid transmission that will be used in the new Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.
- Dakkota Integrated Systems (Holt, Michigan), owned by Andra Rush. Dakkota won a contract to produce fascias and headliners for the redesigned Ford Explorer, which more than doubled sales in 2011 from 2010, finishing the year with 135,704 units sold in the U.S.
“Building a financially healthy, diverse supply base is a central part of the Ford purchasing strategy,” said Tony Brown, Group Vice President for Ford Global Purchasing. “We are proud to receive this recognition, and we hope it brings renewed attention to this important segment of our supply base.”
As Ford Motor Company executives focus on the year ahead, they plan to continue partnering with suppliers who can help engineer high-quality, safe and fuel-efficient products.