January 23, 2006

Ford to drop 1,700 suppliers, keep 800: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co intends to cut the
number of its suppliers around the world to around 800 over the
next few years from about 2,500 now, industry paper Automotive
News reported on Monday.

That would be a bigger drop than originally planned by
Ford, which has said in the past it would reduce the number of
suppliers by around half in a bid to get better technology at
lower cost.

Ford buys about $70 billion of parts annually, the paper

The number two U.S. carmaker was due later on Monday to
unveil details of its second restructuring of North American
operations in four years.

Automotive News quoted Neil De Koker, president of the
Original Equipment Suppliers Association, as revealing the new
supplier number last week while addressing an Automotive News
conference in Michigan.

He said Ford's global purchasing chief Tony Brown had
outlined the plan to 600 suppliers at a meeting in October.

The paper said Ford spokesman Paul Wood had confirmed the
more aggressive goal.

Ford has already announced 27 preferred suppliers who will
increase their future business with Ford. They include Johnson
Controls Inc, Dana Corp, Lear Corp and Visteon Corp.