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Chrysler Group Mission to South Africa to Benefit Minority and Black-Owned Suppliers in Both Countries

Published 10-18-04

Submitted by Stellantis

AUBURN HILLS, MI - DaimlerChrysler AG, DaimlerChrysler South Africa, along with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) will host representatives from 15 minority-owned suppliers on a business opportunity mission to South Africa in November. The trip will help Chrysler Group's minority-owned suppliers become more globally competitive by forming business ties with South African black-owned businesses. Black-owned enterprises in South Africa's developing automotive industry will also benefit by their exposure to U.S.-based suppliers.

"This program will benefit DaimlerChrysler, U.S.-based minority-owned suppliers and South Africa's black-owned businesses," said Tom Sidlik, member of the Board of Management for DaimlerChrysler AG - Global Procurement and Supply. "At the same time, innovative efforts like this one help accomplish DaimlerChrysler's efforts to deliver value to its customers."

The early November trip will introduce business leaders to other executives, trade organizations and government officials at stops in Johannesburg, Pretoria and East London. After returning, Chrysler Group's Diversity Supplier Development team will continue to work with its Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to help ensure new business ventures take root. DaimlerChrysler will benefit long-term from improved business development in both the U.S. and in South Africa.

"We have been telling our minority-owned suppliers for some time that they must strive to become globally competitive in order to grow," said Jethro Joseph, Senior Manager - Diversity Supplier Development, Chrysler Group. "This program will use DaimlerChrysler's global experience to help them do just that."

Participants on the trip include Sidlik, Joseph, and Frank Fountain, Chrysler Group Senior Vice President - External Affairs and Public Policy and Chairman of the Board of the CCA. Harriet Michel, President of the NMSDC, will also participate, and Christoph Koepke, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler South Africa will support the mission locally.

Another goal of the mission will be to take the initial steps to identify corporate and governmental communities interested in utilizing NMSDC's experience to establish a similar national certification network of black-owned enterprises in South Africa.

Chrysler Group has a long history of dedication to developing minority- owned suppliers. For the Chrysler Group, a supply base that reflects the customer base is a business imperative and a chance to support communities by supporting MBEs. Chrysler Group is among industry leaders with 11 percent of spending ($3 billion) going to MBEs in 2003.

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