Creating Synergies, event opening

Creating Synergies for Better Products and Better Communities

  • Creating Synergies for Better Products and Better Communities

Technology is bringing forth unprecedented changes in the automotive industry. Vehicles today are becoming more connected, electrified, autonomous, and shared. The vehicle launch cadence is faster, technologies are adopted more quickly, and automakers are collaborating with suppliers more than ever before.

We estimate that roughly three-quarters of a vehicle’s content comes from the support and collaboration with suppliers, which explains why our supply chain is so critical to FCA’s success.

FCA has more than 2,400 Tier 1 suppliers worldwide. Their proven capabilities in quality management, market understanding, and readiness to innovate are key elements that help distinguish our brands from the competition.

Careful selection of our suppliers is essential to the Group's success and competitiveness. FCA’s engagement with our suppliers is based on our Foundational Principles , which provide the framework used to work with our suppliers while also serving as an internal standard.

With this framework in mind, we are committed to nurturing and growing our mutual cooperation. In some instances, such as in Pernambuco (Brazil), Melfi (Italy) and Toledo (U.S.), we have created actual "neighborhoods" dedicated to our suppliers within or near our plants. These integrated supplier parks offer many benefits, including time and cost synergies, opportunities for joint product development, job growth in the local community, and optimized logistics operations with the associated reduction of environmental impacts.

Engaging our supply base

FCA communicates with our suppliers through a variety of channels to promote innovation, quality, efficiency, best practices and sustainability in forums like Technology Days at our facilities, industry consortiums, town hall meetings, webinars and one-on-one visits in their plants.

In Brazil, for example, one of FCA’s major markets, we promote the "Sustainability and Competitiveness" methodology developed by Fundação Dom Cabral in collaboration with the Social Service of Industry (SESI) organization. Micro and small FCA suppliers in Brazil have access to training, workshops, collaborations and individual advisory services that help them implement sustainability practices to increase their competitiveness.

We also strive to build value through our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our FCA Code of Conduct highlights our obligation to maintain an inclusive workplace, and extends this obligation to our suppliers. We know that diverse teams spark creativity and help us deliver exceptional products to our global customer base, which leads to sustained growth for all of us.

FCA US has been a leader in supplier diversity for the past 35 years, and was the first automaker to have suppliers follow in our footsteps to promote diverse spend in their own supply bases. In 2017, FCA US spent more than €5 billion with approximately 290 minority suppliers.

Through initiatives such as the Black Supplier Engagement Forum and the MatchMaker event, FCA continues to prioritize access and development opportunities for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to strengthen our partnership with leaders in our community and industry.

direct material suppliers worldwide
participants at Supplier Training Weeks
€5+ Billion
spent with minority suppliers

Sharing responsibility for the Environment

Concern for the environment is another responsibility we share with our suppliers. Climate change is not an issue that can be solved in isolation. Through ongoing engagement with our suppliers, our combined efforts contribute to addressing the challenges of climate change.

In China, for example, FCA has been collaborating with the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) since 2016. This non-governmental organization collects and analyzes environmental data of local companies and provides a public database of companies they monitor. In this way, we contribute to improving the environmental management practices of our suppliers. To further strengthen the environmental and social performance of our suppliers in the Asia Pacific region, we provided training on sustainability issues during Supplier Training Week, engaging more than 270 suppliers in 2017.

Our connection with suppliers is enhanced by sharing leading environmental – as well as social and governance – practices used by FCA or even by other supplier partners. Through peer mentoring, supplier bulletins, award recognition and supplier training, knowledge is disseminated that helps strengthen the entire automotive supply base.

Annual Supplier Conference and Awards

At FCA, we are committed to recognizing best practices that generate innovation, promoting supplier progress and highlighting top performing suppliers that consistently exceed our expectations. Every year, the “Annual Supplier Conference” is hosted in all four FCA operating regions, where selected suppliers are acknowledged and given awards for their sustainability accomplishments.

Managing the complexity of multi-tier supply chains presents particular challenges for all major industries, including the automotive sector. Looking to the future, collaboration and respect will continue to provide the best way to address challenges the global supply chain may face, such as human rights violations. The FCA Code of Conduct and the due diligence processes are based on the Group’s commitment to mitigating potential emerging environmental and social risks related to the supply chain.

Continuously improving the quality and sustainability of the products and services we provide to our customers is a responsibility we share with our suppliers. We encourage them to adopt sustainable practices and mutual sharing of knowledge through the compliance with the recommendations in our Guidelines.

This story highlights concrete evidence of FCA’s sustainability commitment and its alignment with the principles of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainability Goals: 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth; 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; 12 - Responsible Consuption and Production; 13 - Climate Action​​​​​​

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