• Nov 6th 2006 at 11:33AM
  • 5

When FoMoCo was looking to reshape its image in March 2005, it hired a top political strategist to help it turn things around. But after only 18 months on the job, Josh Gottheimer is on his way out the door.

Gottheimer instituted the "180 degrees in 180 days" campaign to rejuvenate Ford, teaming up with his former political associate (and new boss) Mark Penn to pinpoint messages with which American customers would identify; images such as Innovation, Safety and American Heritage. Gottheimer urged Ford to move ahead with hybrid development, and, among other image-building initiatives, was behind the presentation of the special Mercury Mariner Hybrid to his former boss, President Clinton.

Gottheimer has been a senior Democratic Party operative for nearly a decade, despite his young age. He was a speechwriter and advisor in the Clinton White House, worked for former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark (coolest title ever) in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, then joined Sen. John Kerry's campaign for the White House (who could evidently still use him), and is tipped to be a key player in Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign if and when she announces her candidacy for president.

With Detroit making news by asking for funds from the federal government, Gottheimer has a unique vantage point straddling the two spheres: He insists that what American automakers are looking for from Washington is not a bail-out but crucial R&D funds that would help insure that MoTown jobs don't get sent overseas. Detroit can only hope that Gottheimer takes that message with him if and when he finds himself back in the national policymaking ring. As for the rest of us, we can only hope he keeps Hillary from reducing the speed limits again.

[Source: Detroit News Auto Insider]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I tell ya, that link to the photo of the speed limit being altered from 70 to 55 is the only tool an opponent running against Hillary would need to beat her in a Presidential Election.

      Funny, she and her Husband could have bought a smaller house to conserve energy too!

      But not to ruin everyone's day talking about Hillary, this guy who was hired to build a brand image for Ford.. I wonder if he found working for Ford was like working for Gov't, or worse... in terms of not being able to get anything done?

      Ford has done a lousy lousy job advertising their products in my opinion. I have to say, I was kicking the tires at a used car dealer 2 weeks ago and for the first time, I sat in a Ford Winstar. I must say, with all of the Mini Vans I have sat in (former owner of a Toyota Previa and Dodge Caravan) I fell in love with it the minute I sat in it. Plenty of head room, big seats for my big butt! - I am 6ft 2 and didn't feel squeezed into it.

      So why wasn't the Winstar ever marketed to the 'Big Man' population? Or was it on other parts of the country but not mine (Long Island Market). It cannot be blamed on the subject of this thread because he hasn't been their that long.. but it goes back to constructive criticism I have posted against Ford for some time now... here and in non web world.. that Ford doesn't seem to point out the best parts of their vehicles when advertising.

      Ahh, I can go on and on... but who has time to read my views.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow it seems they've tried everything EXCEPT make a quality product. I wonder how he would spin that terrible picture that looks like he just finished eating a hershey's bar.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's it! Now we know what Ford thought it needed to get out of the hole this dumb company dug for itself by ignoring cars and becoming a truck company in the U.S.

      Ford needed....drum roll here.....A DEMOCRAT OPERATIVE!

      Gee, why isn't Ford a roaring success now?

      You'd think people would be standing in line to buy Fords if they only knew that Ford had its very own DEMOCRAT OPERATIVE.

      Ford just didn't let people know about this fabulous strategy and now he's gone. What will Ford do now? What will it do? My, oh my, Ford's DEMOCRAT OPERATIVE is gone. I'm going to cry............WAAAAAAAAH!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well Detroit is certainly a Democrat's paradise, the prize jewel and crowning achievement of decades of Democrat politics, much like New Orleans. That's another way of saying the place is a s---hole, but nevertheless it only made sense to bring in a non-car guy Dem operative whose been a key part of many losing campaigns, what could possibly go wrong there?

      How appropriate that he was a key strategist behind Bill Ford's Hybrid Pledge that, uh, used to be plastered on billboards around Detroit -- Bill Ford's signature broken campaign promise.

      • 8 Years Ago
      And this guy knows what about designing and building cars? The product creates the image, not the other way around.
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