SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The U.S. auto industry passed another significant signpost of its recovery Friday as Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revised General Motors Co.’s outlook to positive and raised Ford Motor Co. to investment grade.
U.S. auto sales surged 17 percent last month and hit their highest level since May, 2007. Detroit automakers, four years after GM and Chrysler Group went through bankruptcy, are reaping profits not seen since the turn of the century.
GM and Ford’s strong performance at home helped drive S&P’s decision. GM’s outlook is a sign S&P probably will boost the largest U.S. automaker to investment grade. S&P lifted Ford to BBB-, the last major ratings company to rate the carmaker investment grade.