AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ --

-- Program brings together 40 dealers with 67 minority-owned suppliers
-- Designed to foster more dealer purchasing from minority suppliers
-- Concept fashioned after Chrysler Group's benchmark Supplier Matchmaker

Chrysler Group LLC is playing matchmaker in Southern California today as it brings together 40 Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, and FIAT dealers with 67 minority-owned suppliers from across the state.

More than 200 representatives from these California dealerships and suppliers will meet this afternoon at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach.

This pilot Dealer Matchmaker event is designed to help Chrysler Group dealers learn about minority-owned suppliers and consider them for future business. These suppliers can provide the dealers with everything from furniture and office equipment to information technology, construction, and training services.

"We are hoping to create some long-lasting relationships between our California dealers and these minority-owned suppliers and vendors," said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development & Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC and member of the Company's Diversity Council. "We would like to continue these matchmaking events in other parts of the country."

All of the participating suppliers were certified as minority-owned businesses by the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC). The matchmaker event is being hosted by Chrysler Group's Network Development organization and Diversity Council.

The Dealer Matchmaker initiative is fashioned after Chrysler Group's benchmark Supplier Matchmaker event, held annually the past twelve years in the fall, focused on providing minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses access to Chrysler Group's Tier 1 suppliers and the Company's procurement organization.

Since Chrysler first launched the annual Supplier Matchmaker event in 1999, it has become a premier networking event in the automotive supplier diversity community. This year's event grew to more than 2,000 participants, including 270 minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and majority-owned Chrysler Group suppliers.

Chrysler Group's diversity goals require that 10 percent of a Tier 1 supplier's procurement buy be sourced to certified minority suppliers. The Company announced early this year that it spent $2.1 billion with approximately 200 minority suppliers in 2011, representing 13.4 percent of its total annual purchasing. Since 1983, the Company has purchased more than $45 billion from minority-owned suppliers.

"Chrysler remains as committed as ever to creating a diverse and sustainable supply base that directly reflects our customer base," said Sig Huber, Director - Supplier Relations, Chrysler Group LLC. "Chrysler Group's Matchmaker concept creates business connections that ultimately lead to positive economic outcomes for our supplier partners, our Company, our customers, our communities and, now potentially, our dealers."

About Chrysler Group's Leadership Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Recognized as a leader in promoting diversity throughout its enterprise, Chrysler Group was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine 12 times, and has been recognized six times by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the country's leading corporations supporting diversity and inclusion.

Chrysler Group has been included in DiversityInc magazine's Top 50 or 25 Most Noteworthy companies for diversity lists six times since the benchmarks were establish in 2001. In addition, Chrysler Group has been named to HispanicBusiness magazine's annual Diversity Elite 60 list for implementing strategies to reach more Hispanic customers and to pursue more business with minority- and Hispanic-owned suppliers.

In 2011 and in 2012, Chrysler Group was named among nation's "Top Supporters" of Engineering Programs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, recognizing the Company's efforts to develop, recruit and hire talented students pursuing technical careers at the nation's minority-serving institutions.

Over the years, a long line of Chrysler Group employees have received important professional recognition from various diversity organizations, including Black Engineer of the Year, Women of Color, HENAAC Great Minds in STEM and others, reflecting the Company's strong commitment to developing its diverse workforce.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, all-new Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

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