Analysts with Moody's Investors Service said they are giving Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. six months to prove themselves worthy of their current ratings. Speaking at Moody's' Auto Securitization Briefing last week, Bruce Clark, senior vice president in the financial institutions group, gave a run-down of areas Moody's will be watching over the next six months to decide whether to hold or drop the ratings of the two manufacturers.

Clark said market share is a key concern for GM, now rated Baa3' with a negative outlook. "We will be looking for the company to maintain 26% market share," he said. This could signal bad things to come since GM has already seen its sales drop 6.7% in 2005 over last year. The same concern applies for Ford, also rated Baa3' with a negative outlook, which has a 19% market share. Ford, however, is not in the same straights as GM in terms of its sales.

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