DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has chosen three more suppliers to join its list of preferred suppliers. They are TRW Automotive Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
It's too early to identify the specific commodities each company will provide, Ford spokesman Paul Wood said. The three suppliers make a wide variety of electronics, chassis, safety and powertrain components.
TRW, Bosch and ZF join 24 other parts makers that have been named key Ford suppliers since last September. That's when Ford global purchasing chief Tony Brown announced a major initiative to improve the automaker's historically combative supplier relations.
Ford now intends to use fewer suppliers long-term but to work with those preferred companies more collaboratively.
At least two phases of the program are planned. Phase one covers 20 key components -- axles, brakes and seats, for example -- that make up half of Ford's $70 billion annual production purchases. Ford plans to cut key suppliers of those components from 200 to 100 or fewer.
Ford will reveal more about phase two this year. Ultimately, up to 80 percent of the global production buy will be assigned to preferred suppliers, Brown has said.
Brown and several other top Ford Motor executives will meet with leaders from the 27 named suppliers on Wednesday morning at Ford's Detroit auto show stand. Brown plans to update the suppliers on the new purchasing initiative. He will also review Ford's auto show offerings and coming new products.