Ford sign

A Ford sign is seen at the Salem Ford dealership in Salem, N.H., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. Ford says it earned $1.6 billion in the third quarter, down 2 percent from a year ago. The drop was partly due to a charge for hedging on commodities like copper whose prices fell during the quarter. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded Ford's credit rating to junk status.

The service says it expects weak earnings and cash generation as Ford pursues a costly and lengthy restructuring plan.

The rating for Ford's senior unsecured notes and its corporate family dropped to Ba1, the top rating for debt that's not investment grade. It had been Baa3, the lowest investment grade rating.

Moody's says it expects Ford's restructuring to extend for several years with $11 billion in charges and a $7 billion cash cost.

It says in a statement that Ford now must address operational problems as demand for vehicles is softening in major markets.

Messages were left late Monday seeking comment from Ford.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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