DETROIT -

Ford's comeback reached a milestone Tuesday as the Fitch Ratings Agency upgraded the company's credit to investment grade. 

It's the first time since 2005 the company's debt has not carried the "junk" label. 

Ford Motor Company and its finance arm, Ford Motor Credit saw their ratings upgraded from BB+ to BBB-.

"The upgrade of Ford's ratings reflects the automaker's significantly improved financial performance, balance sheet repair and product portfolio improvement that have taken place over the past several years," according to a released statement from Fitch.
It's been a long hard road back to financial respectability for the Dearborn based automaker.

"It is an important proof point of the continued progress the Ford team is making with our One Ford plan," Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said. "Moving forward, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth for all of our stakeholders. In fact, our One Ford plan includes achieving strong investment grade ratings and maintaining investment grade throughout an economic cycle."
Ford needs another ratings agency, Standard and Poors or Moody's to take similar action to further further reduce the massive debt the company took on to survive the automotive crash.

Ford lost its investment grade in 2005 when it borrowed more than $23.5 Billion to help it avoid bankruptcy.

It's the second major milestone in a month for Ford. 

In March, the company restored its dividend for the first time since 2006.