Ford purchaser Thai-Tang: Learn from history's great shoppers

Thai-Tang: Lessons from the bazaar

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's new global purchasing chief, says it's important that his component buyers be willing to learn from the company's joint venture partners in other countries, including Changan Ford in China, Otosan in Turkey and Sollers in Russia.

Those partners just might teach Ford a thing or two about saving money.

"I had this discussion with the purchasing team," Thai-Tang said. "I asked: 'Have you ever shopped in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul? Some 10-year old kid will come up and give you a sales pitch in six different languages."

He added: "These guys have been at the crossroads of the trading routes for 700 years. Why do we think we know how to buy things at a lower price than they do?"

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