- Ford plans to maintain aftermarket parts-supply with 63 Australian Suppliers, including helping 17 suppliers earn business with its global operations beyond their current local activities, up from nine suppliers last year
- The unique supplier relationships are part of Ford investment of more than $300 million in R&D in Australian in 2015 and nearly $2 billion the past six years as the only automaker that will be able to fully develop vehicles in the country
- The suppliers will help Ford build on a record year of launches in Australia – highlighted by the new Ranger truck, Everest SUV and iconic Mustang – by preparing to introduce 20 new vehicles by 2020
- These new vehicles are part of the company’s global “One Ford” product lineup, which now make up 80 per cent of the company’s sales in 2015
- Ford expects to be Australia’s largest auto employer after 2017 with a 1,500-person strong workforce, including more than 1,100 designers and engineers
MELBOURNE, Oct. 6, 2015 – Ford of Australia plans to maintain business with 63 Australian suppliers after the company’s manufacturing transition in 2016 as part of helping key stakeholders – employees, suppliers, customers and dealers – transition to new futures beyond local manufacturing.
This supply base included nearly double the number of suppliers from nine to 17 it has helped earn new business on global vehicle programs after a significant investment in trade fairs and missions between Ford’s local suppliers and its global product decision-makers.
The suppliers will help the company continue its global product onslaught, which led to a record number of new launches in Australia in 2015 and will gain momentum as the company plans to introduce 20 more new vehicles by 2020.
The new Australian-developed Ranger truck and Everest SUV are centerpieces of Ford’s record year of launches, and its leading investment in Australia of more than $300 million in R&D in 2015 alone on top of nearly $2 billion the past six years.
“Many people think the auto industry is closing down in Australia but that is not the case at Ford,” said Graeme Whickman, CEO and President, Ford of Australia. “In fact, we are launching a record number of new vehicles and investing more than any automaker as the only company fully developing vehicles in Australia.”
The core business of most of these suppliers will be to supply aftermarket parts while new opportunities are explored.
The 17 suppliers with new business have expanded beyond their local operations to work with Ford to earn new contracts for the company’s global vehicle programs.
For example, MTM and Futuris will continue to supply aftermarket parts for existing Falcon and Territory models while supporting global vehicle programs.
“This work will help us maintain a supply of high-quality parts for our customers for years to come,” said Carl Parkin, General Manager, Purchasing, Ford of Australia. “At the same time, we can continue to come up with new ideas for our global vehicles.”
Global product momentum
The company’s new global products such as the Focus, Ranger and Fiesta are to gaining traction, making up 80 percent of the company’s sales mix so far in 2015.
“Ford is absolutely committed to serving our customers with world-class vehicles with advanced technologies and innovative features,” said Whickman. “We plan to continue this momentum by investing more in R&D in Australia and around the world, which ultimately will help us bring our customers 20 more new vehicles by 2020.
“Also, as the industry transitions, we expect to become the country’s largest auto employer by 2018 – something we take great pride in considering this will include about 1,500 highly skilled employees across professions such as engineering and design.”
Ford also is making significant progress helping manufacturing employees and suppliers impacted by plant closings in 2016 transition to new opportunities.
Ford’s work with suppliers is part of its commitment to support a more orderly industry transition, including introducing these partners to new business opportunities within the company’s global operations.
The “match-making” strategy started with a supplier fair in March 2014 and was followed by trade missions, in partnership with the federal and state governments, to Thailand and China.
More recently Ford outlined the capability of the local supply base at Automotive Supply Excellence Australia (ASEA) forum that include a delegation from the Indian automotive community.
“We have seen firsthand for many years the dedication and innovation of Australia’s auto suppliers,” said Parkin. “We are pleased to work with them, through our local program and engineering team, to expand their expertise on a global scale.”