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Rating Action:

MOODY'S AFFIRMS FIAT'S LONG-TERM Ba3 RATINGS AND NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

14 Feb 2005
MOODY'S AFFIRMS FIAT'S LONG-TERM Ba3 RATINGS AND NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

Approximately EUR16 Billion of Debt Securities Affected.

Frankfurt, February 14, 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service today affirmed Fiat SpA's Ba3 Senior Implied Rating and long-term senior unsecured ratings, following Fiat's announcement of a settlement agreement with General Motors (GM). The short term rating remains non-Prime. The outlook for the ratings remains negative.

The affirmation follows an announcement that GM had agreed to pay Fiat EUR 1.55 billion in cash to terminate the Master Agreement between the two parties including cancellation of the put option, and the unwinding of all joint ventures and return of GM's 10% equity interest in Fiat Auto Holdings to Fiat. In terms of the impact, Moody's views the short term cash inflow from the settlement as positive in respect of the current liquidity profile and the need for Fiat to secure funding or refinancing to meet high debt maturities over the next 12 months. As of September 30, 2004, Fiat Group had gross debt maturities of approximately EUR 11 billion (including a EUR 3 billion mandatory convertible and EUR 1.2 billion of fully equity backed loans) over the next 12 months relative to group cash balances of EUR 4.6 billion and operating cash flow losses after working capital of EUR 2.2 billion in the first 9 months of 2004. In the past Moody's has not implied any cash inflow resulting from the put option.

In the longer term, Moody's concerns with respect to Fiat's attempts to turnaround the operating performance of Fiat Auto remain. Fiat has publicly stated its intentions for Fiat Auto to achieve positive operating income and operating cash flow by year end 2006. Moody's believes these objectives remain challenging given the auto maker's highly competitive environment, the need for a successful launch of key new models (e.g. Punto) and the necessity of management to realize cost reductions. For the 9 month period to September 30, 2004, Fiat Auto incurred an operating loss of EUR 0.7 billion.

For Moody's to consider a change in the outlook from Negative to Stable, Fiat Group will need to evidence a sustainable turnaround of the Fiat Auto business in line with its stated intentions by 2006. At the same time, Moody's would expect the Group's overall liquidity profile to have become more manageable in terms of its 12 months debt maturity profile whilst evidencing increasing operating cash flow contributions from all its remaining core businesses, CNH, Iveco and Fiat Auto.

Fiat S.p.A., headquartered in Turin, is one of the largest industrial groups in Italy and the fourth largest European-based automobile manufacturer, with revenues of EUR34.2 billion generated for the 9 month period as at 30 September 2004. The company is also a leading European-based manufacturer of commercial vehicles and one of the largest producers of agricultural equipment in the world.

Frankfurt
Michael West
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Frankfurt
Falk Frey
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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