Three more suppliers will join Ford Motor Co.'s list of preferred suppliers: TRW Automotive Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
Ford wouldn't identify the specific commodities each company will provide. The suppliers make a 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 September. That's when Tony Brown, Ford global purchasing chief, unveiled plans to improve the automaker's historically combative supplier relations.
Ford says it will use fewer suppliers long term and will work with them 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. Brown has said that ultimately up to 80 percent of the global production buy will go to preferred suppliers.