Chrysler hosted its 14th annual Matchmaker forum at its Auburn Hills, Michigan headquarters this week. This year’s annual trade fair grew to more than 2,800 participants. Roughly 270 women-owned, veteran-owned and majority-owned Chrysler Group suppliers participated. Since 2000, Matchmaker has generated more than $2 billion in new business opportunities for exhibitors.
The day-long program provides diverse businesses access to the Chrysler Group’s Tier 1 suppliers and to decision makers in Chrysler’s procurement organization.
“Chrysler Group is committed to creating a diverse and sustainable supply base that directly reflects our customers,” according to Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President – Purchasing and Supplier Quality, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our commitment to diversity is deeply rooted and fully engages our entire team, including our extended enterprise partners. This enables us to better understand and satisfy—-perhaps even to better anticipate–the tastes and needs of diverse customers and communities.”
Chrysler Group’s supplier diversity goals require that 10% of a Tier 1 supplier’s procurement buy be sourced to certified minority suppliers. Chrysler Group itself spent $2.0 billion with approximately 200 minority suppliers in 2012, representing 7.7% of the company’s total annual purchasing. Since 1983, Chrysler has purchased nearly $50 billion from minority-owned suppliers.
In addition, Matchmaker offers minority-owned suppliers opportunities to participate in development seminars led by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and others. A wide range of topics covered include access to capital and minority business services, merger and acquisition strategies, technology applications, and the implications of federal healthcare reformÂ for small and medium-sized businesses.