Ford Mad at Suppliers Over Maverick Photo Leak
Ford Motor Company has issued a letter to suppliers that strongly discourages leaking images of vehicle prototypes and pre-production vehicles. The memo is seemingly a direct response to a fan forum posting pre-production photos of the Ford Maverick small pickup earlier this month.
No Leak Necessary: Feast your eyes on the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco
Ford’s memo, shared with Automotive News on Tuesday, warns of potential consequences for future leaks. The company’s vice president of Global Commodity Purchasing and Supplier Technical Assistance, Jonathan Jennings, suggests that suppliers who allow photos to leak “could face business repercussions and even recovery actions for damages tied to leaks caused or enabled by suppliers.”
“We cannot underscore enough the negative impact of these unfortunate actions on our collective business results, and we ask for your support to personally follow the confidentiality guidelines inherent in Ford’s Global Terms & Conditions,” Jennings’ letter reads. “Ford has a zero-tolerance policy for leaks emanating from our own team members, and we need all supplier personnel to adopt a similar approach regarding unauthorized disclosures of Ford confidential information.”
Maverick leak not the first for Ford
While the leaked look at Ford’s small pickup is the most recent example, it’s not the first instance of pre-production photos making it onto the internet in the last several months. Auto News points to a May leak revealing a rendering of the truck’s tailgate stamped with the Maverick name. Photos of the Ford Bronco and Ford Bronco Sport popped up before the SUVs’ reveal in July.
In the memo, Ford explicitly calls out supplier partners as the sources for leaked images of future products. It asks that supplier leadership reinforce mandates including a moratorium on vehicle photography and requiring that subcontractors adhere to the same guidelines.
While this is all well and good, this all does one thing: more or less confirm that the truck in the photo is in fact the Ford Maverick. Ford is slated to launch its entry-level pickup in late 2021 or early 2022, so you can probably expect some actual photos to drop in the relatively near future.