As many of you know, I grew up in a Ford dealership. I'm a loyal Ford fan and have 2 new Fords in my garage right now. While I'm no longer involved in the retail side of the business, I follow the company whole-heartedly and still speak to industry insiders on a weekly basis. I wrote a 15-page turnaround plan 18 months ago which I ultimately decided against submitting to executives at Ford. I decided this because I was confident they weren't ready to hear it. I called it "The $5 Billion Turnaround" - remember, this was 18 months ago, when $5 billion was probably enough. Now they need a couple of these plans. I talk about this plan, and many of Ford's problems in my upcoming book which is being released in just a few weeks.
I had heard Ford had "recruited" Kelis as an upcoming spokesperson for the all-new Edge. I have no idea what they're paying her although Kelis now joins Dwyane Wade, and Funkmaster Flex as Ford spokespeople. These are well-known celebrities and they perfectly target the X/Y generations however hopefully Ford will realize these sponsorships aren't going to sell them cars. This is just another example of Corporate America's failed attempt to reach my generation. What I found especially funny was Ford's press release today. The article promotes Ford's new website www.fordurban.com - be sure to check it out. Oh wait, if you try to visit it it says "This page has been parked by GoDaddy.com." That's a great landing page for a new website promoted in a press release.
I went back to the press release to finish reading and noticed the fine print "which launches in late December." Apparently, the company Ford contracted to build this project XLInteractive out of Detroit decided against building a landing page. So they had the opportunity to collect thousands of customers' names and email addresses by putting up a simple Coming Soon page, instead they said eh, who cares. How did Ford even hear about XLInteractive? It wasn't through their website...as it is down also: www.xlinteractive.com.
12/20 UPDATE: As of this afternoon, FordUrban.com now links to the Ford Edge website.