Ford’s Mulally Closer to Winning Bet

Fitch boosts automaker to investment grade, putting it halfway to regaining control of $23 bln in assets.

Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally moved closer to reclaiming Ford Motor Co.’s valuable blue oval logo, headquarters building and Mustang trademark yesterday, as Fitch Ratings raised the automaker’s credit rating to investment grade.

Fitch had ranked the second-largest U.S. automaker’s debt as junk since December 2005. With yesterday’s upgrade, Ford now needs only Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s Investors Service to follow suit to regain control of the major assets it put up as collateral to avoid the bankruptcy that engulfed other U.S.-based automakers.

No Retirement Plans

Fitch raised the issuer default rating of Ford and its finance unit, Ford Motor Credit, and said the outlook for both was stable.

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