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Moody's downgrades Ford to 'junk' status on weak outlook

• https://finance.yahoo.com by AFP

Characterizing the auto giant's current overhaul as "unprecedentedly large and challenging," the ratings agency slashed Ford's debt to the non-investment-grade "Ba1" -- saying prospects for its cash flow and profit margins through the 2020-2021 period were poor.

Ford's performance has eroded "during a period in which global automotive conditions have been fairly healthy," Moody's said.

"Ford now faces the challenges of addressing these operational problems as demand in major markets is softening and as the auto industry is contending with an unprecedented pace of change relating to vehicle electrification, autonomous driving, ride sharing and increasingly burdensome emission regulations."

However, Ford "does have a sound balance sheet and liquidity position from which to operate," said Moody's senior vice president Bruce Clark.

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