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Fiat in junk status

by David Zatz on

Automotive News just reported that Moody’s Investors Service has cut Fiat SpA’s long-term rating to Ba1, the first level of “junk” status, as a result of negative cash flow, debt, and a weak automotive market.

Moody’s put on a negative outlook, indicating that they could downgrade it again within two years. While Moody’s noted Fiat’s more diversified businesses and respected products, it also expects auto demand to fall by 20% in the first quarter of 2009, and doubted that Fiat would be able to cut production quickly enough.

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