Ford Motor Co. said today that it's issuing new automotive debt for the first time in almost four years as the company boosts spending on self-driving cars, mobility services and electrified vehicles.

The second-largest U.S. automaker is taking on an unspecified amount of debt in 10-year and 30-year notes, according to a regulatory filing. Ford's last automotive debt issue was for $2 billion in January 2013. The company said its auto business had $13.1 billion in debt at the end of September and net cash of $11.2 billion.

Ford has undertaken an expensive effort to transform itself into a mobility company that can take on upstarts such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Google. The cost of that conversion is causing profits to fall this year and next. The carmaker has promised to put 100,000 robot taxis — without steering wheel, gas or brake pedals — on the road in five years. It's also investing $4.5 billion to convert 40% of its lineup to electrified vehicles by 2020 and is offering bike sharing and a commuter van service in San Francisco.

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