Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt has joined the board of the Ford Motor Company amidst a period of struggle for the automobile production industry.

Gephardt, a longtime Missouri congressman and two-time presidential candidate, joined Ford's board on Wednesday, effective immediately, the company announced in a statement.

Also chairman of his own consulting group, Gephardt is joining up with the only of the Big 3 to have not yet requested assistance from the federal government -- unlike competitors General Motors and Chrysler. Though should Ford seek assistance, they would have a powerful voice in Gephardt to reach out to former colleagues to support a Ford bailout.