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CHRYSLER SENIOR DEBT UPGRADED TO 'BB+' FROM 'BB-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Corp.'s senior debt rating is raised to 'BB+' from 'BB-' by Fitch and removed from FitchAlert, where it was placed with positive implications on Jan. 15, 1993. The credit trend is improving. This action applies to $3.6 billion of senior debt, including $1.1 billion of Auburn Hills Guaranteed Exchangeable Certificates, which are guaranteed by Chrysler Corp.
 At the same time, Fitch affirms Chrysler Financial Corp.'s (CFC) senior debt at 'BB+' and assigns an 'F-3' rating to its commercial paper, which is secured by CFC's assets on a pari passu basis with other creditors.
 The upgrade acknowledges Chrysler's substantially improved operating performance and financial position. In a tough North American market, Chrysler has converted product success into higher market shares and returned to profitability. This performance also reflects $3 billion of annual cost savings and somewhat lower sales incentives. These accomplishments enabled Chrysler to sell $2 billion of new common equity earlier this year, which it used to reduce its unfunded pension liability and strengthen its cash position. Even after a $4.7 billion non-cash charge for FASB 106, equity totals $5.3 billion and automotive debt leverage is a manageable 40 percent. Chrysler's automotive cash and securities totaled $4.4 billion at March 31, 1993, while total debt was $3.6 billion. CFC's funding is in place for the next few years, lending confidence that it will be able to continue supporting Chrysler's new product sales.
 Chrysler's challenge is to maintain its hard-won cost and financial disciplines, while keeping its new product success momentum in a highly- competitive market, which is growing slowly. Successful new product launches will be critical. These will support and diversify earnings contributions beyond those from Jeeps and mini-vans and support sustained cash flow progress to fund product programs, remaining pension liabilities, and escalating health-care costs. Finally, Chrysler's labor contracts are due for renewal in September 1993, and negotiations will likely be complex.
 -0- 5/11/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Anne Sudol, CFA, 212-908-0562 (Chrysler), or Nancy E. Stroker, CFA, 212-908-0533 (CFC), both of Fitch/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corp. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: RTG

PS -- NY042 -- 7025 05/11/93 11:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1993
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