Ford Motor Company memo from CEO Jim Hackett:
As we meet weekly in our global team, there are invariably questions that go unanswered due to the short time we have together or which would simply be best addressed offline.
One question I want to address with this Huddle is whether Ford’s development of police vehicles is a good idea given the spotlight on social justice and police reform.
First, it should be clear that Bill Ford and I deeply believe that there is no room for the systemic repression and racism that has been demonstrated by meetings with law enforcement officials that have gone wrong. . We have made it clear that Black Lives Matter and I are personally conducting a review of our diversity and inclusion rituals, practices and behaviors. We are convinced that more transparency and accountability are necessary in police operations.
Second, we also believe that the first responders who protect us play an extremely important role in the vitality and security of our society. Our world would not work without the bravery and dedication of the good police who protect and serve. But community security must include all members and today is not the case.
It is possible to keep these two thoughts together in his mind, but now there is tension. We believe that the recent problems raised by the George Floyd tragedy provide a very intensive and necessary light on police training and reform. In fact, I am a member of the Business Roundtable, an organization made up of the CEOs of large American companies, who have devoted their collective energy to work on police training and reform.
That said, I have received several emails from employees and other members of the public, and I have read comments on social media pleading with Ford to reconsider the production and sale of police vehicles. Given the environment, we must constantly make sure that we are helping to move forward. After reflection, I see two key lines of reflection:
I. It is not controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job. The problems that undermine the credibility of the police have nothing to do with the vehicles they drive. In fact, as we imagine the future power of our connected vehicles, smarter Ford vehicles can be used not only to improve the ability of officers to protect and serve, but also to provide data that can make police safer and more responsible. Think about it, going back to model T, Ford is more than 100 years old in the service of first responders and that leadership over the decades has been gained by co-developing our vehicles and technologies specially designed with the police and emergency agencies to make our vehicles the number one choice
II. By removing our police interceptors, we would endanger their safety and make their job more difficult. Again, this is why, given our knowledge, our new capabilities and our leadership, I think these unfortunate circumstances offer Ford an even greater opportunity to innovate new solutions, but also to take advantage of of our unique position to support the dialogue and reform needed to create safer communities. for everyone.
For these reasons, we will do both: continue to be a powerful voice for the Black Lives Matter, holding ourselves accountable for significant change, while continuing to help keep communities safe by producing and intercepting police interceptors. associating with law enforcement in new ways to strongly support security for all members of society.
I appreciate that people are talking to me about this issue – it helped me generate this note to explain why we continue our engagement with police forces around the world in our trusted products.
Thank you for your deep concern for the company and our people, and for everything you do for Ford.