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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms BMW's A1/P-1 ratings and changes the outlook to negative

07 Aug 2008
Moody's affirms BMW's A1/P-1 ratings and changes the outlook to negative

Approximately EUR27.1 Billion of Debt Affected.

Frankfurt, August 07, 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service today affirmed BMW's A1 long term and Prime-1 short term senior unsecured ratings. The outlook has been changed to negative from stable.

Falk Frey, Senior Vice President and the lead analyst at Moody's for the European automotive sector, said: "The outlook change to negative reflects the further weakening of BMW's operating performance levels evidenced by HY 1, 2008 results and the significant challenges the company is facing to improve both key business segments Automobiles and Financial Services against an increasingly adverse market and economic environment."

Frey went on to say, "If BMW's revised expectations for 2008 and 2009 were to prove beyond reach of management, pressure on the company's rating could further build up."

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: BMW (UK) Capital plc

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: BMW Australia Finance Ltd.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: BMW COORDINATION CENTER V.O.F.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: BMW Finance N.V.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: BMW Japan Finance Corp.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: BMW Malta Finance Ltd.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: BMW US Capital, LLC

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

On July 1, 2008 the group revised downwards its outlook for 2008 in light of the challenging market environment and profitability being impacted by an extraordinary provision of approximately €695 million in the first half of the year to adequately reflect losses arising from declining residual values and credit risk, mainly in North America for 2008 and beyond. The company now anticipates an EBIT margin (as defined by the company) of at least 4% in the Automobiles segments in 2008 compared with an EBIT margin of 6.4% in fiscal 2007. Fiscal 2009 is expected to remain challenging. For the intermediate term, the company confirmed its 2012 targets, aiming to achieve an EBIT Margin (as defined by the company) in the Automobiles segments of 8-10% by 2012.

Moody's notes that the operating margin had been on a downward trend in the recent past despite increased volumes, and against this background BMW Group's second quarter results came in below Moody's expectations. Based on a nearly unchanged turnover of €14.5 billion Q2 2008 (-0.9% compared to Q2 2007), consolidated EBIT declined by 58.3% to €425 million, resulting in a reported EBIT margin of 2.9% compared to 6.9% in the previous year period. The reported EBIT margin for the first half year 2008 decreased by 35% to 4.5% against 7.3% in H1 2007. Moody's will need to become confident that management is making solid progress in its recovery plan of operational performance to sustain the current rating. Moody's takes note that, so far, cash flow generation remains solid, also helped by the fact that the impairment charged and increased provisions do not impact cash flows. Furthermore, Moody's expects BMW to be able to generate a sizable positive free cash flow in fiscal year 2008 and beyond.

The outlook could be stabilized should (i) BMW be able to exceed its revised targets for 2008 and demonstrate the ability to improve all key metrics in 2009 compared to 2008; (ii) residual value losses or impairments on leasing assets not go beyond the currently announced amount; and (iii) clear signs of a successful implementation of the Strategy Number ONE emerge that indicate that margin targets set for 2010 (a reported Group pre-tax margin of at least 6%) and beyond will be achieved. BMW's rating could be downgraded in case of (i) failure to achieve the minimum margin targets announced namely for the BMW Group pre-tax return on sales of at least 4% and for the segment Automobiles an EBIT margin of no less than 4% with visibility of no further margin deterioration in 2009 compared to 2008; (ii) a further sizable impairment requirement on residual values for BMW's leasing assets or any other material deterioration in the asset performance quality of the company's Financial Services division in 2008 and beyond; (iii) an operating performance in the reminder of 2008 materially below expectations; and (iv) a deterioration of Moody's financial metrics in 2008 and 2009 beyond the revised expectations, exemplified by FCF/Debt well above 7%, down from around 22% in 2007 and Interest cover (EBIT/Interest expense) not below 5.5x for 2008 and 2009 (down from 8.2x in 2007)

As of 30 June 2008, BMW had approximately €2.7 billion of cash & cash equivalents on balance sheet as well as €2.1 billion marketable securities and US$8 billion headroom under its unutilized revolving credit facility. Though the industrial operations are free cash flow positive, the sales financing operations have a rather short maturity profile reflecting largely the matching assets duration. The cash needs for the next twelve months hence total approximately €26.7 billion, arising from debt maturities (mainly from the sales financing operations), dividend payments, working capital outlays, capital expenditures and day to day needs. Although Moody's note that BMW has been successful in relying on a large diversity of financing sources, the agency will monitor the company's funding capabilities and initiatives to strengthen its liquidity profile against a backdrop of capital markets under turmoil.

Moody's last rating action on BMW was an affirmation of the existing A1/P-1 ratings with a stable outlook on September 13, 2005, while at the same time assigning a A1 rating to BMW's Euro benchmark bond issued by BMW US Capital LLC.

BMW AG, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is the only European car manufacturer focused entirely on the premium segment, manufacturing and selling the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands as well as Motorcycles under the BMW and Husqvarna brands. The group's financial services business offers leasing, retail and dealership financing, and holds a bank license through its wholly owned subsidiaries BMW Bank GmbH and BMW Bank of North America, Inc. In 2007 BMW generated revenues of €56 billion.

Frankfurt
Falk Frey
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Paris
Eric de Bodard
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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