Compiled By Jill Jusko The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG reports that it purchased more than $3 billion from minority suppliers for goods and services in 2002. That amount represents about 11% of its total purchasing spend, the automotive group says. More than 300 suppliers in Chrysler's supply base are minority suppliers, the company reports. "In today's changing society, we realize that diversity is not just a social responsibility but a business imperative," says Tom Sidlik, Chrysler Group executive vice president, procurement and supply. "It is our belief that our supply base should be a direct reflection of our customer base." Sidlik also is chairman of the National Minority Supplier Development Council executive committee. Chrysler has several initiatives in place to develop and enhance minority supplier development, including a mentoring program, in which Chrysler supply-chain executives work with suppliers to assist in their growth and development, and a "Matchmaker" program that pairs minority suppliers with Tier 1 suppliers. DaimlerChrysler's headquarters are in Stuttgart, Germany, and Auburn Hills, Mich.