Michael Martinez

Ford Reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207 Detroit
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Phone: 313-446-1644
E-Mail: mdmartinez@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

How Ford pulled up its quality score

The Ford brand achieved its highest initial-quality mark since the J.D. Power study started 30 years ago. Joe Hinrichs credits the turnaround to a series of moves begun in early 2013.

A longer Lincoln Navigator SUV is coming to Canada

UPDATED: 6/20/17 10:10 am ET - corrected

Lincoln's new extended-length Navigator will be nearly a foot longer and include more cargo space than the redesigned regular 2018 Navigator. A special edition Black Label will be available in the U.S., but not in Canada.

Ford to import U.S. Focus from China instead of Mexico

UPDATED: 6/20/17 11:40 am ET - adds details

Ford plans to import its next-generation Focus sedan from China, abandoning plans to build the small car in Mexico. Production will begin in the second half of 2019.

Lincoln unwraps extended-length Navigator SUV

UPDATED: 6/20/17 10:10 am ET - corrected

Lincoln's new extended-length Navigator will be nearly a foot longer than the redesigned 2018 Navigator and include more cargo space than the regular version.

Why Ford's new structure might make sense

Management consultants say the structure isn't unique in the auto industry and is part of a growing wave of car companies looking to break down hierarchies.

Ford F-150, Expedition gain power, lose weight

Ford of Canada says the automaker has increased the power and cut the weight on two key nameplates -- the F-150 pickup and Expedition SUV -- due, in part, to more efficient transmissions and lighter aluminum bodies.

Ford F-150, Expedition gain power, lose weight

Ford has increased the power and cut the weight on two key nameplates -- the F-150 pickup and Expedition SUV -- thanks, in part, to more efficient transmissions and lighter aluminum bodies.

Ford wants service bays to be ride-share-ready

The automaker believes repair shops will need to move faster to get revenue-generating cars back on the road.

Ford wants dealer service bays ready for special needs of ride-sharing providers

Ford wants its dealership service centers to move much faster as an increasing amount of ride-sharing fleets hit the road and need routine or unscheduled maintenance and repairs.

Ford shortens summer shutdown at Louisville plant

Ford is shortening its traditional two-week summer shutdown at its Louisville Assembly Plant because of high crossover demand.

Toxic cleanup job awaits Hackett at Ford

New Ford CEO Jim Hackett must guide the automaker through a wave of changes -- new executives, a new structure, looming buyouts and a declining market.

FORD: Fleets fuel first gain of '17, win over GM

Ford posted a 2.3 percent May sales gain -- and outsold crosstown rival General Motors for the first time since March 2016 -- thanks to an increase in fleet sales.

Fields tried to fire Hinrichs before being ousted from Ford

UPDATED: 5/31/17 4:04 pm ET -- adds details

Days before his May 19 ouster as CEO of Ford, Mark Fields was proposing to fire his top lieutenant, Joe Hinrichs, in an effort to relieve some of the pressure he was facing from a skeptical board of directors, Automotive...

Focus, Fiesta owners sue Ford over faulty Powershift transmissions

UPDATED: 5/30/17 5:30 pm ET - adds Ford statement

Nearly 7,000 Fiesta and Focus owners are suing Ford over defective PowerShift transmissions in some small cars, a problem that has plagued the automaker for years.

Twin power centers emerge at Ford

Ford's revamped management structure puts Joe Hinrichs and Jim Farley in new, more powerful positions that could put one of them in line to lead the company in the future.

Will Ford's 'sharpening' nick Fields' agenda?

Ford's "sharpening" of operations could involve a rethink of many of ex-CEO Mark Fields' initiatives.

Ford names Raj Nair to steer North America as new CEO's team takes shape

UPDATED: 5/25/17 12:01 pm ET -- adds details, links

Three days after being named Ford CEO, Jim Hackett picked product development boss Raj Nair to lead Ford North America, which means Ford of Canada CEO Mark Buzzell now reports to Nair.

New Ford CEO Hackett's pay package worth up to $13.4 million

New Ford CEO Jim Hackett's base salary rose from $716,000 to $1.8 million. His total compensation for this year is valued at up to $13.4 million.

Ford issues two recalls for roughly 3,000 vehicles

Ford issued two recalls for about 3,000 vehicles in North America. The largest involves a call-back of about 2,500 2017 Explorer SUVs, F-150 and Super Duty pickups.

Ford awards multimillion-dollar retention bonuses to four executives

Days before it parted ways with former CEO Mark Fields, Ford offered retention stock bonuses to four top executives ranging from $2 million to $5 million.

Fields departs in shake-up; ex-Steelcase head Jim Hackett named CEO

UPDATED: 5/22/17 4:16 pm ET - adds stock close

Ford, in a sweeping management shake-up, named Jim Hackett, former CEO of Steelcase, chief executive, replacing Mark Fields, who is stepping down amid pressure from shareholders over a slumping stock price and during a...

Fields retires as Ford CEO in shake-up; ex-Steelcase head Jim Hackett named new chief

UPDATED: 5/22/17 1:07 pm ET - adds details

Ford, in a sweeping management shake-up, named Jim Hackett, former CEO of Steelcase, as its new chief executive, replacing Mark Fields, who is stepping down amid pressure from shareholders over a slumping stock price and...

Where Mark Fields fell short

Despite financial success, a lack of clarity about Ford's future, inability to inspire confidence in workers and indifference on Wall Street doomed Fields less than three years into his tenure.

Amid good times, Ford braces for bad ones

Ford and GM are making recession-style staff cuts even as sales and profits remain relatively strong.

Raj Nair's mom was right

Raj Nair, the head of Ford's product development, doesn't remember when he first fell in love with motorsports. But he knows his parents certainly didn't have anything to do with it.

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