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Chrysler Group Hosts Matchmaking Event to Cultivate Growth in Small Michigan Businesses

It’s no secret that Chrysler Group LLC wants to see small businesses in this country do well, in part because we sell many of our vehicles to small business owners. But we also understand the positive difference a thriving culture of small businesses can have on the economy in general.

In fact, it wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that in many respects our fate is tied to that of the small business owner, and it’s for this reason that Chrysler Group LLC is pleased to offer programs like BusinessLink®, and to host events like Chrysler Connect, where small businesses are granted access to the purchasing decision makers from Chrysler Group and its large suppliers.

For more on Chrysler Connect 2013, watch the video and read the write-up. Like the above photo, both are courtesy of our colleagues in the Chrysler Group public relations department.

November 12, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group embraced its “Pure Michigan” roots today, opening its doors to host a unique event aimed at matching its own business needs and those of its largest Tier 1 suppliers with hopeful Michigan businesses. Chrysler Connect 2013, hosted by Chrysler and Pure Michigan Business Connect, in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber, connected small Michigan businesses with buying teams with significant purchasing power in an effort to spur economic and job growth in the state.

“Over the past several years, Chrysler has become synonymous with innovation and reinvention, showing everyone that some of the world’s best products are ‘Imported from Detroit’,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “Chrysler’s participation in Pure Michigan Business Connect is one more example of its commitment to growing and creating jobs here in our state.”

The Pure Michigan Business Connect supplier summits are exclusive purchaser-supplier matchmaking engagements that provide procurement opportunities to Michigan vendors. Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Detroit Regional Chamber merged the Chamber’s Connection Point events with Pure Michigan Business Connect in January 2013, and have since conducted supplier summits with nearly 70 other purchasers.

Suppliers from all over Michigan in industries from welding to facility management applied to participate in the event. Chrysler and its top suppliers submitted areas of need in advance, and the MEDC matched those needs with applicants. More than 300 strategically targeted “matches” were made based on the types of goods and services the larger companies had identified, and the companies were provided the opportunity to meet face-to-face while at the event.

“We are thrilled to offer these small Michigan businesses a platform to showcase their goods and services to potential customers,” said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President, Purchasing and Supplier Quality, Chrysler Group. “Chrysler is very proud that our home state is full of such innovative, forward-thinking and hardworking entrepreneurs. They are a huge asset to our state and our economy.”

In addition to its corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, Chrysler Group has a significant manufacturing presence in Michigan employing more than 35,000 employees and contractors. Some of the company’s most recognizable products are “home grown,” including the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, built in the heart of Detroit; the SRT Viper; the Ram 1500; and the award-winning Pentastar engine.

A total of 17 Chrysler buyers and engineers and 26 supplier representatives participated in the event. Chrysler purchased more than $9 billion in direct materials and another approximately $3 billion in indirect services from Michigan suppliers in 2012.

Launched in 2011, Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of MEDC, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources. Companies can find new ways to raise capital, get access to professional business services at little or no cost, connect with each other through a new business-to-business network and identify potential supplier opportunities, while developing resources to improve their supply chains.

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