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FIAT FINANCE USA $1 BILLION COMMERCIAL PAPER PROGRAM RATED 'F-1' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 FIAT FINANCE USA $1 BILLION COMMERCIAL PAPER PROGRAM RATED 'F-1'
 BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Fiat Finance USA Inc.'s commercial paper is rated "F-1" by Fitch. The commercial paper is guaranteed by Fiat S.p.A., the parent company. The commercial paper program limit is US$1 billion. This is the first time Fitch has rated Fiat.
 Fiat's strength arises from its size and position as the largest private enterprise in Italy, as well as its long-standing diversification which counterbalances some of the cyclicality in the company's core automotive and related businesses. Earnings and cash flow are underpinned by solid local, European or global market positions, which provide platforms and opportunities for forward growth. The Fiat Group enjoys a high level of liquidity, reasonable financial leverage, and broad access to global capital markets.
 At this juncture, concerns center around Fiat's ability to continue to operate profitably in the increasingly competitive European car markets, and its ability to integrate and rationalize recent acquisitions in the important heavy truck and agricultural equipment businesses. Over the next few years, the company plans substantial increases in capital outlays to renew its automotive product range, to reconfigure and rationalize its manufacturing operations, and to upgrade its business portfolio. Fiat has in place comprehensive strategies and plans with respect to both products and costs in each of its businesses, with the benefits accruing gradually over the next few years.
 Fiat entered a period of market weakness and heavy product spending from a strong financial position and with ample liquidity. However, this spending will strain its financial position somewhat in 1992-1994 interval as spending is likely to exceed cash flows. However, the company's financial disciplines, supported by the recent cash dividend reduction, should keep these strains within manageable ranges.
 The Fiat Group, based in Turin, Italy, reported 1991 sales and revenues of Lit. 58.0 trillion, or US$50.4 billion, of which approximately 44 percent arose outside Italy. Its diverse operations are grouped into two areas: automotive, which includes autos, trucks, agricultural and construction equipment, and components; and diversified activities, encompassing aviation, rail equipment, chemicals, construction, publishing, sales financing and financial services, insurance, and retailing.
 -0- 5/22/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Anne Sudol of Fitch, 212-908-0562/ CO: Fiat Finance USA ST: IN: AUT SU: RTG


SH -- NY020 -- 3260 05/22/92 11:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 22, 1992
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