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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: General Motors, Ford Motor, Fiat SpA, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 06, 2012 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include General Motors Company (GM - Free Report) , Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) , Fiat SpA , Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Free Report) and Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

U.S. Sees Best August in 5 Years

 Light vehicle sales in the U.S. in August improved 19.9% to 1.29 million vehicles, which is the highest monthly figure for any August since 2007. According to Autodata Corp., seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) during the month was 14.52 million vehicles, up 16% from the year-ago level.

The key factors that drove auto sales during the month include easier credit terms and strong pent-up demand. Most of the major automakers posted double-digit rise in sales. Let us take a look at each of them one by one.

U.S. Automakers

General Motors Company (GM - Free Report) sales rose 10.1% to 240,520 vehicles driven by strong demand for cars and trucks. Higher gasoline prices boosted sales of compact cars including the Cruze.
Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) sales grew 12.6% to 197,249 vehicles, mainly driven by strong demand for its Escape sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and F-Series pickup truck. Sales of Escape surged 36.8% to 28,188 units while that of F-series jumped 19.3% to 58,201 units.

Chrysler Group LLC – controlled by Italy’s Fiat SpA – saw its best August in five years with sales of 148,472 vehicles, up 14% from the year ago level. The company’s truck sales grew 12% while car sales went up 21% during the month.

Japanese Automakers

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Free Report) posted an impressive 45.6% jump in sales to 188,520 vehicles, driven by strong demand for its cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. Sales of vehicles such as Rav4 SUV and Prius hybrid more than doubled during the month.

Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Free Report) sales shot up 59.5% to 131,321 vehicles during the month. The company’s strong sales growth can be attributable to impressive sales of Acura (up 73%) and Accord (up 89%).


Strong pent-up demand and improving macroeconomic conditions in the U.S. will continue to revive the industry from recessionary lows, partially offset by the backlash from the economic crisis in Europe.

Average age of vehicles on the U.S. road is 10.8 years. The replacement rate is expected to remain solid till 2013. GM anticipates sales in the range of 14 million to 14.5 million vehicles for full year 2012.


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