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Bill Ford: Automaker moving fast to restore credit rating to investment grade
Automotive News

December 15, 2010

DETROIT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. could reach its target of an investment grade credit rating more quickly than some outside observers might have thought, Executive Chairman Bill Ford said on Tuesday.

The automaker, which expects a solid profit in 2010 and also to build on that profit in 2011, this year has sharply cut a heavy debt load it built to support a restructuring that has included a focus on its car lineup.

Ford said executives realized from the start it was important once the company had regained its footing to reach investment grade metrics and rebuild its balance sheet.

"We are doing that and we are doing that much quicker than most people thought we could," Ford told reporters during an event at the automaker's Michigan Assembly Plant.

Ford has reported profits in six consecutive quarters as the U.S. auto industry has started a gradual sales recovery from its worst downturn in decades. As a result of its turnaround, the automaker has been able to cut debt more quickly than outside observers would have expected, Ford said.

It expects continuous improvement in its goal to return to investment grade from 2010, Ford said.

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