Bumper (and Light) Crop: Ford Program Celebrates 10 Years, Keeping 120 Million Pounds of Damaged Parts from Landfills

Bumper (and Light) Crop: Ford Program Celebrates 10 Years, Keeping 120 Million
                    Pounds of Damaged Parts from Landfills

PR Newswire

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 27, 2012

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  oAbout 120 million pounds of damaged vehicle parts have been processed
    through the Ford Core Recovery Program since its inception; program
    celebrates 10 years in 2013
  oReusing parts as often as possible helps control costs and quality while
    conserving valuable resources and giving new life to vehicle components
    otherwise likely destined for a junkyard or landfill
  oIn the last two years, bumpers and headlights were added to the list of
    parts recycled or remanufactured through the program; about 26,000
    headlight units were collected in the last year alone

Ford's recycling and remanufacturing program has kept 120 million pounds of
damaged vehicle parts from landfills since 2003, effectively ending the days
when the crack of a headlamp or crunch of a bumper would render useless such

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121227/DE34834 )

The Core Recovery Program oversees collection, remanufacturing and recycling
of damaged parts – everything from small sensors and fuel injectors to large
engine parts – from Ford vehicles that have been repaired through the
company's dealer network.

Several issues necessitated the program – from more complex and expensive
parts in cars and trucks to a need to get more control over the sale of
aftermarket components to a need to recycle more.

In the last nine years, about 120 million pounds have been collected and the
list of parts recycled or remanufactured continues growing. In the last two
years, bumpers and headlights were added to the list. In the short time since,
about 62,000 bumpers have been collected while about 26,000 headlights have
been recycled.

"Most parts that come back to us through the program still have a lot of life
left," says Kim Goering, manager of Ford's remanufacturing and recycling
programs. "That makes a strong business case to do whatever we can to extend
the life of these components. Even more important, however, is that Ford
strongly believes it's just the right thing to do from an environmental

Remanufacturing history

Ford has remanufactured parts for decades, but it formed the Core Recovery
Program in 2003. The impetus was that there were too many different collection
methods being used in various parts of the company, making it too hard and
confusing for all the parties involved – from the dealers to those managing
Ford's supply chain.

General recycling awareness has increased, too. The U.S. EPA reports that in
2010 recycling helped keep 85 million tons of material from being disposed of
in landfills – up from 15 million tons in 1980.

Other factors led to the creation of the Core Recovery Program: Vehicle
components, for example, have become increasingly complex and expensive,
making it more important than ever to recycle and reuse parts whenever

Take the headlight portion of the program: As recently as 15 years ago,
headlights were pretty basic and utilitarian – consisting mostly of a bulb, a
glass lens and a reflector.

Now, typical headlight assemblies are almost two feet wide and have become a
major part of the vehicle, both in terms of design and function – consisting
of not just a few parts, but expensive plastics, advanced bulb technology,
additional wiring harnesses and more.

The headlight portion of the program started in November 2011. In its first
year alone, about 26,000 units were reclaimed and every single part of the
headlamp is recycled.

In fact, more than 85 percent of each Ford vehicle today is recyclable, with
more and more parts being kept from landfills.

Bumpers, for example, are now collected and sent to a third party where they
are processed into pellets that can then be used to make brand-new products.
Since 2010, about 62,000 bumpers have been recycled through the program.

"These bumpers are typically between five and six feet long and can yield as
much as 20 pounds of material after they have been processed," said Goering.
"That adds up fast and makes it pretty easy to see how much of an impact the
program makes – and that's with just one category."

Yet another benefit of the Core Recovery Program is that it helps keep damaged
parts from being resold in the aftermarket, says Mark Trombetta, manager of
the Ford Regional Core Recovery Center Network. For example, Ford doesn't want
to encourage people to try and somehow fix the new complicated headlights of
today's vehicles.

"Unauthorized selling of Ford parts in the aftermarket can be a problem
because Ford has no way to ensure the level of quality," he says. "Then you
have a situation where a part being utilized doesn't truly reflect Ford's high
standards of quality, but still has the Blue Oval on it."

How it's done

Dealers pay a core charge on each new part bought from Ford to replace a
damaged one. When the original damaged part is returned to Ford, the dealer
gets the money from the core charge back – operating exactly like bottle
return systems do in some parts of the United States.

To collect the damaged and broken parts from dealers, Ford works with
distributors strategically located around the country, such as RMP Powertrain
Solutions of Brownstown Township, Mich. The 35,000-square-foot center serves
as the central collection point for Ford dealers in Southeast Michigan, Ohio
and Indiana.

Ford uses a proprietary system involving bar codes and scanners to keep track
of every single part collected. Once collected, each part is evaluated for
either recycling or remanufacturing potential.

Parts recycled are sent to third-party processors and the raw material is

When parts are remanufactured, they are cleaned, machined and tested to meet
Ford quality standards. Like the raw material that comes from recycling, the
parts that are remanufactured can then be sold or used in new applications. In
the rare instances when recycling or remanufacturing is not an option, Ford
ensures proper disposal.

Goering says that whether parts are recycled or remanufactured, the Core
Recovery Program has been profitable for Ford – and that it could grow even

"As the vehicle population grows, so does our business," she says. "We are
always considering the business case for different products, which is quite a
task when you think about the sheer quantity and complexity of the parts going
into today's vehicles."

RMP's Rick Rutenbar, warehouse manager, says he hopes to be part of the
program's continued evolution.

"We have definitely seen an increase in the amount of parts we are picking
up," he says. "We've had to hire additional workers and add more hours to
adjust to the rapid growth in the number of parts we are picking up."

More information about the Ford Core Recovery Program can be found in a video
posted here.

More information about Ford's overall sustainability can be found here.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

Website: http://www.ford.com
Contact: Elizabeth Weigandt, +1-313-845-4147, eweigand@ford.com, or Eddie
Fernandez, +1-530-304-5383, eddie.fernandez@ogilvy.com
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.