Our Blueprint for Sustainability
We have sustained, interdependent relationships with several distinct categories of stakeholders: employees, customers, dealers, suppliers, investors and communities. Also important is our relationship to “society,” which includes government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and academia. We identified these categories of stakeholders through internal analysis and discussion during the early phases of developing our sustainability programs. This section describes who our primary stakeholders are and how we engage with them. See the People section for further discussion of our stakeholders.
At year-end 2011, we employed approximately 164,000 individuals at 69 plants, 41 distribution centers/warehouses, 56 engineering research/development facilities and 110 sales offices worldwide. Substantially all of the hourly employees in our Automotive operations in the U.S. are represented by unions and covered by collective bargaining agreements. Most hourly employees and many nonmanagement salaried employees of our subsidiaries outside the U.S. are also represented by unions. These unions are key partners with Ford in providing a safe, productive and respectful workplace.
Ford faces workplace health and safety challenges similar to those of many multinational manufacturing companies. These challenges include, for example, establishing and reinforcing high, common expectations for the safety of our employees worldwide. Most of our manufacturing facilities have joint union/management safety committees that guide the development and implementation of safety programs in their operations.
Ford’s customers make us who we are. Ford Motor Company serves more than 5.7 million customers worldwide. Our major regional markets include North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia and Australia.
In these regions, we serve three primary types of customers: individual retail consumers, small business customers and large commercial fleet customers. We will continue to expand our products and services for these existing customers while working simultaneously to gain new customers in emerging markets. In North America, we are focusing on increasing our offerings of smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles. In all of our markets, our customers’ mobility needs and desires are changing faster than ever.
Our dealers are the face of Ford to our customers and communities. They are key employers and contributors to local economies. Ford and Lincoln dealers in the United States alone employed 158,000 individuals at the end of 2011, with an annual payroll of approximately $6 billion. Worldwide, we had 11,790 Ford and Lincoln dealerships at the end of 2011.
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Suppliers are an integral part of our business, and our success is interdependent with theirs. We rely on more than 1,400 production suppliers to provide many of the parts that are assembled into Ford vehicles. Another 9,000 supplier companies provide a wide range of nonproduction goods and services, from industrial materials to computers to advertising.
Our supply base is increasingly global. We are expanding production in several regions to serve the sales growth that is expected to occur in emerging markets. We are also expanding our sourcing in these lower-cost emerging markets, as a way to serve both local markets and the global supply chain. These changes, and our efforts to ensure good working conditions in our supply chain, are discussed in detail in the Supply Chain section of this report.
Our success as a company directly affects our approximately 158,000 investors, and we have been focused on improving Ford’s financial health. More information on our investors is available in the Financial Health section of this report.
We continue to maintain open communication with the investment community. We regularly host conference calls and participate in key automotive conferences during the year. In addition, our Investor Relations website is a good source of information for investors. It contains various Company reports, a schedule of events and investment information.
Our Company impacts the communities in which we operate in numerous ways, from the employment we provide and the taxes we pay, to the environmental and safety performance of our operations, to the ways in which we support and participate in civic life. Responsibly managing these impacts is not just about being a good neighbor; it is fundamental to the success of our business.
The communities in which we operate are composed of a diverse range of individuals and groups. They include our customers, our employees, our business partners and their employees, government regulators, members of civil society and community organizations, and those individuals who live and work around our facilities, among others. Developing and maintaining positive relationships with these varied groups is an important factor in our reputation and operational efficiency.