Chrysler Group wants its Tier One suppliers to earmark 10 percent of their purchasing budget for minority vendors.
As part of the initiative, Chrysler will identify 100 suppliers that should be doing a significantly better job. Those suppliers will be spread through Chrysler's six purchasing sectors -- metals, Mopar, indirect purchasing, electric, chemical and powertrain -- that should be doing a significantly better job.
The company will ask each of those suppliers to devise a concrete plan to do business with minority vendors, said Sigmund Huber, Chrysler's senior director of purchasing.
If suppliers produce a plan, they will be allowed to bid on future Chrysler contracts, he said. If they are not in compliance, "they better have a plan in place."
Chrysler's minority purchasing program is trying to regain momentum that was lost during the recession. The company's own minority purchasing declined a bit, while Tier One suppliers suffered a "dramatic" falloff, Huber said.
"The manufacturers were struggling to survive," he said. "All of us took our foot off the gas a little bit."
Under Chrysler's program, a minority supplier is majority-owned by an individual or group that is black, Hispanic, Native American or Asian American.
Businesses owned by women are in a separate category. Chrysler will allot 3 percent of its purchasing to companies owned by women, and that's in addition to its minority purchasing targets.