"A big milestone for Ford today, after mortgaging nearly all Ford assets and borrowing $23.5 billion from their banks, Moody’s Investor’s Service has lifted the Ford credit rating to investment grade."
The blue oval is back.
Change leaders take risks, sometimes very big ones. Ford exemplified this by avoiding backruptcy and borrowing from the government.
In 2006, Ford put it all on the line. We began the Ford turnaround plan by mortgaging nearly all of our assets and borrowed $23.5 billion from our banks – a “giant home improvement loan,” as Ford CEO Alan Mulally likes to call it.
This allowed us to pour that money into research and development so we could make world class cars that people want and value. You’re seeing the results of that success now with the global Fiesta and Focus, the all-new Ford Explorer, the fuel efficient and technologically capable new Ford Escape and the new 2013 Ford Fusion, due out later this year.
Along with our factories and equipment, one of the assets Ford mortgaged was our none other than our iconic logo – the blue oval. The blue oval has long been associated with Ford and as a brand logo, it’s recognized worldwide.
The script in the middle of the oval was taken from the original script created in 1912 and has been part of the Ford heritage for a century. And since Ford returned to profitability beginning in 2009, we have been paying down our debt against that loan.
But because Ford credit had been below investment grade since 2005, the banks would not return those assets to us – including the blue oval – until at least three credit rating firms granted Ford investment grade status. Last month, Fitch’s was the second to restore Ford to that level.
Today, we received notice that Moody’s Investor’s Service has lifted the Ford credit rating to investment grade. The blue oval is back.