Auto Stock Roundup: GM Fined by China, Tesla-Panasonic to Manufacture Solar Cells in New York

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The auto sector saw a busy week with many of its major players making news. General Motors Company GM was fined by China on charges of price fixing. Meanwhile, Tesla Motors, Inc. TSLA reached an agreement with Panasonic for production of photovoltaic cells and modules in Buffalo, NY.

Among other developments, Ford Motor Co. F revealed details of the next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle. Further, Toyota Motor Corporation TM and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. HMC reported their production figures for November.

(Read the previous roundup here: Auto Stock Roundup for Dec 22, 2016 )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. General Motors' main joint venture in China, Shanghai GM, is being charged with a fine of 201 million yuan or $29 million for monopolistic pricing behavior. Shanghai GM - a 50-50 joint venture between General Motors and state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. - enforced minimum dealer sales price for Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Trax and Buick Excelle models in order to counter competition. However, Chinese regulators are particular about the pricing of products and services in the economy and believe that this monopolistic behavior suppresses healthy market competition. Thus, they charged a penalty equivalent to 4% of Shanghai GM's annual sales (read more: General Motors Fined in China on Anti-Competitive Grounds ).

General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

2. Tesla has signed an agreement with Panasonic Corp to produce photovoltaic cells and modules in Buffalo, NY, from the summer of 2017. The companies signed a non-binding letter of intent for the same in October. Per the agreement, Panasonic will bear the capital expenses needed for the plant in return for a long term purchase commitment by Tesla. The companies plan to increase the production volume of photovoltaic modules at the plant to 1 Gigawatt by 2019. Additionally, they will collaborate to develop the next generation of photovoltaic technology at the Fremont, CA plant of Tesla's subsidiary SolarCity.

Tesla will use the cells and modules produced in the Buffalo plant to make solar panels for its non-solar roof products. The company will also use these cells in various kinds of solar glass tile roofs, when their production starts (read more: Tesla-Panasonic to Manufacture Solar Cells at Buffalo Plant ).

Currently, Tesla has a Zacks Rank #3.

3. Ford recently launched the next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle. The vehicle will be displayed at the CES and North American International Auto Show, slated to be held in Jan 2017. The vehicle is based on the current Ford autonomous vehicle platform but has stronger processing power owing to the new computer hardware. The adjusted sensor technology allows better vision of the surroundings to the car. The vehicle features new LiDAR sensors with a sleeker design and improved visibility. Notably, the vehicle uses only two sensors compared to four used earlier but still it receives the same amount of information (read more: Ford Debuts Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle ).

Ford currently has a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

4. Toyota's total worldwide production increased 9.3% year over year to 936,729 units in Nov 2016. This resulted from a 5.3% production hike in Japan to 356,876 units and an 11.9% rise in production outside Japan to 579,853 units. Total sales in Japan improved 5.5% to 187,384 units, while exports from Japan dropped 3% year over year to 164,217 units.

Toyota currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.

5. Honda's production in Japan increased 12.6% to 81,519 units in November. Production outside Japan increased 11.7% to 377,303 units, which was a record high for the month of November. Consequently, worldwide production volume for Nov 2016 was 458,822 units, up 11.8% from the figure reported in Nov 2015. The automaker's global production volume was a record high for the month of November. Sales in the Japanese market improved 9.4% year over year to 58,164 units in November, while exports from Japan fell 2.8% year over year to 12,334 units.

Honda currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.


Most auto stocks recorded weak performance over the last week. Only Tesla posted gains among the stocks listed below. Meanwhile, General Motors lost the most as a result of the fine imposed by China.

Over the last six months, Harley-Davidson, Inc. HOG gained the most, while Ford suffered the maximum loss among the stocks listed below.

Company Last 1-Week Period Last 6 Months
GM -3.5% +24.8%
F -3.1% -2.4%
TSLA +5.8% +4.5%
TM -2.2% +18.4%
HMC -1.5% +16.7%
HOG -3.0% +30.6%
AAP -1.8% +5.8%
AZO -1.0% +0.4%

Auto-Tires-Trucks Sector 5YR % Return

Auto-Tires-Trucks Sector 5YR % Return

What's Next in the Auto Space?

On Jan 4, 2017, automakers will report their U.S. auto sales for December and full-year 2016.

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GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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