A memo that’s reportedly an internal Ford document obtained by Automotive News says that the automaker is threatening “business repercussions” and “recovery actions” against suppliers who are found responsible for leaked Ford photos or information.
Ford called out Tier 1 suppliers specifically but stopped short of naming a particular supplier or even a specific leak. We’ve recently seen leaked images of the Ford Bronco, Bronco Sport, and upcoming Ford Maverick pickup truck. The memo does not name specific vehicle models, which could be seen as a confirmation of the leaked vehicle images.
Looking back at the old leaks of the Bronco lineup now that they’ve been revealed, yeah, they were the real deal. Understandably, Ford wants it to stop.
Here’s a snippet from AN with the most important part of the memo:
While subcontractors must follow the same guidelines, Ford singled out Tier 1 suppliers and said they have a “responsibility to have a robust leak prevention plan.”
“Because the damage to our organizations can be significant, Ford will treat confirmed supplier security breaches with heightened scrutiny,” Jonathan Jennings, Ford’s vice president for global commodity purchasing and supplier technical assistance, warned in the memo. “Suppliers could face business repercussions and even recovery actions for damages tied to leaks caused or enabled by suppliers.”
The upcoming Ford Maverick pickup is expected to be slightly smaller in exterior and interior dimensions than both the F-150 and Ranger pickups. It’s been the subject of a couple of leaks, including a rendering of its stamped tailgate that seemingly confirmed the “Maverick” nameplate for the model. Photos of what is believed to be the Maverick on a production line were also leaked just a couple of weeks ago, as Jalopnik covered here. (Along with many other outlets, hence the memo, probably.)
Ford’s all torn up about the leaks, claiming there’s some really special stuff it doesn’t want anybody talking about, things that provide a significant business advantage. From Ford:
“Given the significant interest and excitement in new Ford and Lincoln vehicles and technologies coming to market, we are reinforcing to suppliers and partners, as we have to our own employees, the importance of following strict policies and protocols to protect confidential information.”
Obviously, it’s pretty stupid for people to put their jobs at risk over some blurry photos of a car and maybe a bit of an adrenaline rush — maybe a small check, if they’re lucky. Anyway, our tips line is firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’re open 24 hours, seven days a week.