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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 stunning new 2013 Ford Fusion, being launched right now.
Our commitment to the role of technology in our vehicles is apparent, from our award-winning SYNC system that allows you to control some features of your car hands-free, to our fuel efficient and powerful EcoBoost engines that give you better fuel efficiency with more power, to cool and helpful features like Active Park Assist, Hands-free Liftgate, and more.
Along with our factories and equipment, one of the assets we 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 our credit had been below investment grade since 2005, the banks would not return those assets to us – including the blue oval – until at least two credit rating firms granted Ford investment grade status. In April 2012, Fitch’s was the first to restore Ford to that level.
Last May, we received notice that Moody’s Investors Service lifted the Ford credit rating to investment grade. The blue oval is back.
“We are so proud of today’s decision by Moody’s and the resulting release of all collateral – particularly the Ford Blue Oval,” said Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company. “This is an important milestone and further proof that, by staying laser-focused on our One Ford plan, the Ford team can deliver great products, build a strong business and contribute to a better world even through the most challenging external environment.”
There is an enormous psychological impact on Ford and all of our employees; it means our plan is working and that the difficult turnaround we’ve faced is being appreciated by the market. But more than that, having investment grade credit means we can continue to go further in our plan:
From the top office in World Headquarters to every office and assembly plant around the world, you can bet that Ford employees are celebrating. We’d love for you to join in the festivities by telling us your story in how you achieved a similar milestone in your life, or how Ford has positively impacted your life. Or just send us a photo of you with the iconic blue oval, whether it’s on a t-shirt, your car, or at the dealership where you bought your Ford.
Tell us your Ford Blue Oval story through the Your Stories section of Ford Social.
Click here for a historic look at the Ford logo throughout history.
Join us as we celebrate, and as Ford continues to work hard to Go Further!