"The two actions we have initiated today will substantially strengthen our balance sheet and improve liquidity, complementing the progress we have made on the operational side of the business," Paolo Monferino, CNH president and chief executive officer, said. "Since the merger, we have concentrated our efforts on implementing our multi-brand, multi-distribution strategy, shedding unprofitable financial services activities outside the core business, and achieving our merger-related profit improvement objectives.

"As a result, our market share and our operating results have steadily improved even in the face of the dramatic decline in the construction equipment industry during 2001. The refocusing of our financial services on the core business is complete and we will achieve our profit improvement targets well ahead of schedule. Today, with the initiation of our debt reduction plan, and with Fiat's support, we are strengthening our financial structure."

CNH has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of 50 million newly issued common shares of CNH stock to parties other than Fiat through a public offering. The public offering will be underwritten by a syndicate of investment banks led by Merrill Lynch & Co. and including JPMorgan and Salomon Smith Barney. The newly issued shares of common stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company intends to use the net proceeds of the public offering to repay indebtedness.

In addition, Fiat has indicated its commitment to exchange approximately $1.3 billion of debt, carrying a weighted average interest rate of 5.32%, which is owed to Fiat by CNH, for CNH common shares at a price per share equal to the price of the shares offered to the public. As a result of these two actions, Fiat?s ownership stake in CNH is not expected to change materially. The exchange of debt for equity will occur concurrently with the closing of the public offering, which is expected in the second quarter of 2002.

CNH stock closed at $4.75 per share on March 26, 2002.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state. A copy of the registration statement may be obtained from Investor Relations, CNH Global N.V., Global Management Office, 100 South Saunders Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045.