Bronco Sport, Maverick all leaked in photos well before launch
Leaked memo details Ford’s concerns with leaks
A new report says that Ford Motor isn’t exactly happy with all of the leaks of its upcoming products that have been hitting the internet in the last year or so. The company blames suppliers, and the report says it’s ready to do something about it.
The memo from Ford, shared with Automotive News, asks suppliers to stop the photo leaks and to stop sharing them with the media. Photos of the Bronco, Bronco Sport, and the Maverick pickup have leaked, the latter well before Ford has even confirmed the model exists. The early pictures have hit message boards and forums, then spreading just about everywhere.
“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,” the automaker said in the memo, signed by VP for purchasing and supplier technical assistance Jonathan Jennings. “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.”
Like most companies, Ford prohibits pictures or video of prototypes before that information has gone public, even if the parts or models are shown with a cover. The memo warns, says the report, that “suppliers could face business repercussions and even recovery actions for damages tied to leaks caused or enabled by suppliers.”
Ford didn’t name suppliers involved, though it likely knows which are to blame for the leaks. Automakers normally put a tight clamp on these information leaks, including the use of tamper-proof lens covers for cameras, phones, and laptops. Some automakers also require any such recording devices to be kept outside of their facilities.