L’agenzia di rating Moody’s ha declassato il giudizio su Fiat e su Peugeot, da Ba2 a Ba3. Secondo Falk Frey, vicepresidente di Moody’s e lead analist per Fiat: “Il downgrade riflette il calo delle domanda di auto italiane registrato finora quest’anno e il nostro outlook per le richieste fino a tutto il 2012 e oltre”. Moody’s pone l’attenzione sul ritardo nel rinnovo dei modelli e la mancanza di lancio di altri modelli potrebbe ulteriormente che potrebbe peggiorare la competitività di Fiat in Europa, rispetto ai suoi concorrenti Peugeot e Renault, risentendo anche della concorrenza in aumento in Brasile.
Un estratto del giudizio di Moody’s
Although Fiat’s consolidated financial results benefit from the improving performance of Chrysler Group LLC, the Fiat bondholders do not have full access to the cash flows from this entity, nor does Moody’s anticipate a major change in this access over the short term. “This leads Moody’s to expect further deterioration in Fiat’s standalone credit metrics in 2012, with limited improvement likely in 2013,” Mr. Frey adds.
When disaggregating Chrysler’s financials from Fiat’s consolidated accounts, it becomes clear that Fiat’s standalone credit metrics have deteriorated over recent quarters, as evidenced by an adjusted debt/EBITDA of around 8.0x and negative free cash flow of approximately EUR2.8 billion in the last twelve months ending in June 2012.
Fiat’s mass market brands (excluding Chrysler) are not only very reliant on the European passenger car market, which represents around 60% of revenues, but are also heavily focused on the Italian market, which accounted for 52% of Fiat & Chrysler’s registrations for the period January-August 2012. Moody’s anticipates western European light vehicle demand to decline by 8% in the current year and a further 3% in 2013. Moody’s projects demand in Italy to contract by 20% this year and to stabilize (+1.4%) at that low level next year. In addition, rising price pressures and rebates in Europe will exacerbate the negative effect on Fiat’s performance. Moody’s notes that the Luxury and Performance brands business supported the overall Group performance with an EBIT of €175 million in H1 ’12 and an EBIT margin of 12.2%.
In Italy, Fiat is facing significant overcapacities despite the closure of its factory in Sicily at the end of last year. In Moody’s opinion, Fiat original target of reaching a break-even point in trading profits from the EMEA region by 2014 has become very challenging in this much worsened environment, especially in light of current year trading losses for the Region, which Moody’s expects around EUR800 million for the current year. Moreover, the company intends to achieve its target without any further immediate capacity adjustments but instead plans to increase the production of Chrysler Group models on its European platforms in order to increase its scale and lower its unit costs.
Furthermore, Moody’s cautions that the delay in model renewals and the absence of any major new volume model launch might further derail Fiat’s competitive position in Europe, against the background of major new model launches from its competitors Peugeot (208) and Renault (Clio). Fiat’s also renews existing models, in Moody’s view, less frequently overall than its direct peers. These slower renewals are constraining Fiat’s competitive position, as reflected in the group’s market share losses since 2010 in Western Europe .