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Ford Credit Changes Borrowing Plans for 2005

May 18, 2005

NEW YORK -- Ford Motor Co.'s financial arm, Ford Motor Credit Co., has changed its borrowing plans for 2005 and also said it isn't likely to issue more unsecured debt this year due to its lowered credit ratings.

Ford Credit's chief financal officer David Cosper said

the company's initial borrowing forecasts, set between $16 billion and $25 billion, have been dropped to a range of $16 billion to $22 billion, according to Reuters.

Cosper told attendees at a converence for fixed-income investors that Ford would be able to meet its funding needs in the asset-backed, or secured, market for at least the next two years, if necessary. This is due to S&P's downgrade having minor effects on the company's asset-backed issues.

Ford's borrowing costs in the unsecured debt market have increased since the downgrade, fostering concerns about the company's sliding market share and the increase in its employee health care costs.

Ford Credit is the issuer for most of Ford's debt and plans to issue between $12 billion and $16 billion in asset-backed debt -- an increase from the initially predicted $10 billion to $15 billion.

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