Depending on how one looks at it, Ford Motor Credit's pricing of $5 billion of wholesale dealer floorplan receivables-backed notes was the largest dollar-denominated asset securitization ever, or it was just two - admittedly large - new issues.

"This is a technical issue," according to Jeff Salmon, head of ABS research for Barclays Capital. "But in terms of being the largest single transaction, it's not."

Last Wednesday, Ford sold $2.9 billion of three-year and $2 billion of five-year floating-rate notes to strong demand, the first time the company has sold floorplan paper since 1997, according to Ford Motor Credit.

When viewed as separate issues, the $2.9 billion 2001-1 offering falls about $900 million short of Ford's largest-ever securitization, ($3.89 billion FCAOT 2000-G) and is just shy of Ford's largest deal this year ($3.16 billion FCAOT 2001-A).

However, most involved in the deal viewed it as a single, four-tranche offering, as both offerings were led by Lehman Brothers and priced concurrently.

For the record, Ford was noncommittal, saying only: "We were very happy to get the funding at the levels we did."

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