Ford said it would pay off this week the $1.8bn outstanding on its 2006 loan, due in 2013.

“Earlier this week we gave notice to our lenders and by the end of this week we will have pre-paid the remaining amount of our term loan,” said CFO Lewis Booth in Frankfurt. “That’s a further $1.8 billion of debt we will have paid off.

Ford reduced its debt from $33.6bn in 2009 to $14bn by June 2011.

Its primary aim over the next four years is to regain investment grade status which it lost after borrowing over $23bn in 2006. The carmaker wants to ink a new deal with the UAW that does not include ‘significant’ wage hikes.

The investment grade status would reduce Ford’s cost of borrowing and provide extra cash for vehicle development.