Moody's downgrades Ford credit rating to junk status

The Ford logo is displayed on the front of a brand new Ford truck at Serramonte Ford on July 28, 2015 in Colma, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) - 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.