Credit ratings

In the year 2012, there was one change in Daimler’s credit ratings. The upgrade of our issuer rating from BBB+ to A- by the Standard & Poor’s rating agency in February 2012 means that since then Daimler has had comparable credit ratings at the level of A- with all four of the agencies it has engaged. (See table 3.36)

3.36

Credit ratings
  End of 2012 End of 2011
     
Long-term credit ratings    
Standard & Poor’s A- BBB+
Moody’s A3 A3
Fitch A- A-
DBRS A (low) A (low)
     
Short-term credit ratings    
Standard & Poor’s A-2 A-2
Moody’s P-2 P-2
Fitch F2 F2
DBRS R-1 (low) R-1 (low)

On February 23, 2012, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) lifted its long-term rating for Daimler AG from BBB+ to A-. At the same time, the short-term rating of A-2 was confirmed. The outlook was assessed as stable. With these actions, S&P stated that it was reacting to the significant improvement in Daimler’s financial risk profile over the previous two years, whereby S&P already anticipated reduced dynamism in key sales markets during the rest of the year. In view of the significantly improved financial metrics, S&P assumes that Daimler will be able to maintain the ratings level it has now reached also in the case of a mild recession.

In its credit opinions of March 21 and September 21, 2012, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) affirmed its existing long-term rating of A3. The outlook, which has been positive since August 2011, was also confirmed. Moody’s thus recognized the strong position of Mercedes-Benz in the premium automobile segment, our worldwide presence and leading market position for commercial vehicles, and the improvement in the Group’s profitability and cash flows since 2010. In its credit assessment, Moody’s also considers the challenges posed for Daimler and especially for Mercedes-Benz by stricter emission regulations worldwide and the related technology costs and capital expenditure.

On June 5, 2012, Fitch Ratings (Fitch) also confirmed the existing long-term issuer rating of A- with a stable outlook, with reference to our sound financial metrics, our leading position in relevant markets, and long-term growth prospects for both cars and commercial vehicles. Fitch is of the opinion that the business fluctuations typical of the trucks business in connection with economic cycles are a factor limiting Daimler’s rating prospects. On the other hand, Daimler Trucks will profit from the new products launched since the year 2011.

DBRS, the Canadian rating agency, confirmed its long-term rating for Daimler and its subsidiaries on October 25, 2012 at A (low) with a stable trend. DBRS is of the opinion that with its current financial profile, Daimler is very well positioned in that rating category. The agency assumes that the economic conditions for the car and commercial-vehicle business will generally continue to develop positively and that Daimler can participate successfully in that development. The Group’s current high levels of investment should help to strengthen its long-term profitability.

The short-term ratings of all four rating agencies remained unchanged in 2012.