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Fitch boosts Ford’s investment rating

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is closer to getting its blue oval out of hock.

Ford mortgaged its logo, along with factories and equipment, in 2006 in exchange for a $23.5 billion restructuring loan. On Tuesday, it got one of the two investment-grade ratings it needs to get those assets back.

Fitch Ratings raised the automaker’s credit from junk status to “BBB minus,” the lowest investment-grade rating. The agency said Ford has repaired its balance sheet and improved its vehicles in recent years, putting it “in a solid position” to withstand any slowdowns in the global auto industry. Now, Ford must wait for one of the other two ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s – to make a move.

Ford lost its investment- grade status in 2005 when it was racking up billions in losses as the SUV and truck boom went bust.

Auto suppliers not worried about resin

DETROIT — Executives from four auto parts companies said Tuesday that they don’t expect widespread fallout from a shortage of a key ingredient in plastic resin after a factory explosion.

Officials for Delphi Automotive, Illinois Tool Works, AK Steel and Parker Hannifin said during conference calls to discuss their companies’ earnings that a shortage of PA-12 shouldn’t disrupt their operations.

Automakers and parts companies have been scrambling to find substitutes since a factory in Germany that makes much of the world’s supply of the ingredient suspended production after it exploded in March.

The resin is used in hundreds of parts. It’s most critical in fuel and brake lines because it can carry gasoline and other fluids without deteriorating.

Knology to seek applicants Friday

Knology will interview applicants Friday to fill positions in installation and direct sales.

The interviews will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Knology office at 3714 Wheeler Road.

Supervisors and managers will conduct interviews for the cable, high-speed Internet and digital phone services provider. For a list of available positions, visit knology.com/careers.

In other news

AMERICANS’ CONFIDENCE in the economy was resilient in April despite rising job cuts and falling home prices. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index is at 69.2, down slightly from a revised 69.5 in March.

– From staff and wire reports


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Storm brings heavy rain, property damage reported

The National Weather Service in Columbia says the threat of severe weather has left the Augusta area, but not before leaving behind some property damage Sunday.
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