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Ford Gets Another Upgrade

GM also gets a boost in its credit rating.

by on Oct.28, 2011

Ford boss Alan Mulally may soon get his wish for an investment grade credit rating.

Ford Motor Co. is a small step away from achieving one of CEO Alan Mulally’s key goals after the maker received another upgrade in its debt rating from Moody’s Investors Service – the agency also giving an upgrade to industry giant General Motors Corp.

Both makers are now rated at “Ba1,” which is for Mulally one step from seeing Ford regain the investment grade rating it lost in 2005 as its finances began to implode.  Getting the next upgrade would provide a halo for Ford’s stock, which has taken some sharp blows over recent months – but it would also reduce the maker’s borrowing costs substantially.

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The upgrade by Moody’s follows similar actions by its rivals Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, earlier this month.  All three ratings agencies cited the improved financials for both Ford and GM, as well as the latest contracts the makers have negotiated with the United Auto Workers Union.


Are Ford and UAW Ready to Announce a Deal?

Senior union leaders summoned to Detroit Tuesday morning.

by on Oct.03, 2011

UAW Pres. Bob King shakes hands with Ford Chairman Bill Ford as negotiations open in July.

Are Ford and the United Auto Workers Union ready to announce a deal on a new 4-year contract?

There are certainly signs that an agreement is at hand, the UAW calling senior local leaders to Detroit for a Tuesday morning meeting that sources indicate will be used to discuss a tentative agreement.  The likely settlement is expected to at least match the gains both General Motors and the union each claimed in the settlement they reached last month – though Ford is also expected to provide a slightly larger bonus to its hourly employees.

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Negotiations, meanwhile, continue at Chrysler, though there are indications the two sides have hit some significant stumbling blocks over issues that include a desired up-front “signing bonus,” as well as an increase in wages for second-tier hourly employees currently earning just half of what veteran Chrysler employees get.