At December 31, 2014, the Group has provided guarantees on the debt or commitments of third parties or unconsolidated subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates totaling $383 million ($513 million at December 31, 2013). These guarantees mainly consist of obligations of certain CNH Industrial’s companies undertaken in the interest of certain dealers in relation to bank fi nancings, as well as performance guarantees in the interest of a joint venture of Commercial Vehicles.
Operating lease contracts
The Group has entered operating lease contracts for the right to use industrial buildings and equipment with an average term of 10-20 years and 3-5 years, respectively. Total future minimum lease payments under non-cancellable lease contracts are as follows:
|At December 31, 2014||At December 31, 2013|
|($ million)||due within one year||due between one and five years||due beyond five years||Total||due within one year||due between one and five years||due beyond five years||Total|
|Future minimum lease payments under
operating lease contracts
In 2014, the Group recognized costs for lease payments of $58 million ($64 million in 2013).
As a global Group with a diverse business portfolio, CNH Industrial is exposed to numerous legal risks, particularly in the areas of product liability, product performance, retail and wholesale credit, competition and antitrust law, intellectual property matters, disputes with dealers and suppliers and service providers, environmental risks, and tax and employment matters. The outcome of any current or future proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty. It is therefore possible that legal judgments could give rise to expenses that are not covered, or not fully covered, by insurers’ compensation payments and could affect CNH Industrial’s fi nancial position and results. When it is probable that an outfl ow of resources embodying economic benefi ts will be required to settle obligations and this amount can be reliably estimated, CNH Industrial recognizes specifi c provisions for this purpose. At December 31, 2014, contingent liabilities estimated by the Group amount to approximately $41 million (approximately $48 million at December 31, 2013), for which no provisions have been recognized since an outfl ow of resources is not considered probable at the present time.
At December 31, 2014 and 2013, no contingent assets and expected reimbursements have been estimated.
Although the ultimate outcome of legal matters pending against CNH Industrial and its subsidiaries cannot be predicted, CNH Industrial believes the reasonable possible range of losses for these unresolved legal matters in addition to the amounts accrued would not have a material effect on its Consolidated Financial Statements.
Starting January 2011, Iveco and certain of its competitors have been subject to an investigation being conducted by the European Commission into certain business practices of the leading manufacturers of trucks and commercial vehicles in the European Union in relation to possible anti-competitive behavior.
On November 20, 2014, Iveco received a Statement of Objections from the European Commission alleging that Iveco and other companies in the heavy and medium truck industry had breached EU antitrust rules. The Commission indicated that it would seek to impose signifi cant fi nes on the manufacturers. The Statement of Objections is a formal step in the Commission’s investigative process and details the Commission’s preliminary view of the conduct of the companies involved.
The Statement of Objections is not a fi nal decision and, as such, it does not prejudice the fi nal outcome of the proceedings. Under the applicable procedural rules, the Commission will review the manufacturers’ responses before issuing a decision and any decision would be subject to further appeals.
Iveco is evaluating the Statement of Objections and the documents on the Commission’s case fi le, and intends to issue its response to the Commission in due course and to avail itself of any opportunity allowed by the procedure to clarify its position in this matter. Given the numerous uncertainties in the next stages of the investigation, CNH Industrial is unable to predict the outcome or to estimate the potential fi ne at this time.
CNH Industrial N.V. is successor to Fiat Industrial S.p.A., the company formed as a result of the demerger of Fiat S.p.A. (now FCA) (the “Demerger”). As such, CNH Industrial N.V. continues to be liable jointly with FCA for the liabilities of FCA that arose prior to the effective date of the Demerger (January 1, 2011) and were still outstanding at that date (“the Liabilities”). This statutory provision is limited to the value of the net assets transferred to Fiat Industrial in the Demerger and survives until the Liabilities are satisfi ed in full. Furthermore, CNH Industrial N.V. may be responsible jointly with FCA in relation to tax liabilities, even if such tax liabilities exceed the value of the net assets transferred to Fiat Industrial in the Demerger. At December 31, 2014, the outstanding Liabilities amount to approximately $3.5 billion (of which $3.2 billion consists of bonds guaranteed by FCA). CNH Industrial evaluated as extremely remote the risk of FCA’s insolvency and therefore no specifi c provision has been accrued in respect of the above mentioned potential joint liability.