Auto Stock Roundup: Tesla Impresses, VW Depresses

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The Volkswagen AG VLKAY scandal continued to dominate headlines in the auto sector last week as new details were revealed. In another negative turn of events, news surfaced that 7 more automakers may need to recall vehicles due to defective Takata airbags.

Meanwhile, Tesla Motors, Inc. TSLA delivered its much-hyped Model X to the first set of customers on Sep 29. The car boasts impressive features and is getting rave reviews. Further, General Motors Company GM announced a long-term agreement to develop medium-duty commercial vehicles, while Honda Motor Co., Ltd. HMC announced a $210 million investment in its Marysville Auto Plant.

(Read last week's recap here: Auto Stock Roundup for Sep 24, 2015. )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. Volkswagen was aware of the software issue long before it came to the limelight, according to sources. In 2011, technicians at the company had warned about the illegal emission practices. However, no action was taken. In addition, through internal investigation, Volkswagen found a letter from parts' supplier Bosch that mentioned the illegal software use (read more: Was Volkswagen Staff Aware of the Emission Test Fraud? ).

Further, the Italian unit of Volkswagen has stopped selling vehicles which feature Euro 5, EA 189 motor. Even the company's Dutch dealers have stopped selling diesel vehicles with the Euro 5, EA 189 motor following the software scandal. Meanwhile, France has joined the list of countries investigating Volkswagen's emission levels.

2. Tesla has finally started deliveries of the long-awaited Model X. CEO Elon Musk hosted a launch event at the company's Fremont plant to mark the first six deliveries. According to Musk, it is the first SUV to obtain a five-star safety rating in every category.

The all-wheel-drive Model X offers falcon wing rear doors with built-in sensors as a standard feature. It is equipped with a medical grade HEPA filter that eliminates all pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution in the air before flowing it through the car. It even has a bioweapon defense mode to protect occupants from a biohazard.

The vehicle has the largest windshield among all cars currently in production. Model X also offers automatic keyless entry, automatic emergency braking, parking sensors, blind-spot warning and side collision warning (read more: Tesla Model X Unveiled: What Investors Need to Know ).

3. U.S. regulators are considering the need as well as repercussions of adding seven more automakers to the list of companies requiring recalls for defective Takata airbags, per media reports. The concerned automakers are Tesla, Volkswagen, Daimler AG's DDAIF Mercedes-Benz, Tata Motors Limited's TTM Jaguar Land Rover, Suzuki Motor Corp., Volvo Trucks and Spartan Motors Inc.

Per the reports, Takata recently informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") that it supplies airbags with ammonium nitrate propellant to these automakers. The propellant is touted to be a likely reason for the malfunctioning of the airbags (read more: Will NHTSA Expand Recall of Vehicles with Takata Airbags? ).

4. General Motors and Navistar announced a long-term agreement to develop medium-duty class 4/5 commercial vehicles. The vehicles will be produced from 2018 at Navistar's facility in Springfield, OH. This will expand General Motors' Chevrolet commercial truck portfolio.

5. Honda revealed that it will invest $210 million in a new paint line at its Marysville Auto Plant. The construction of the paint line will start in Dec 2015 and should be completed by Dec 2017. The new paint facility will help to reduce the use of energy and water, as well as chemical emissions from the vehicle painting process.


Most auto stocks recorded losses over the week. Tesla lost the maximum value among the stocks listed below, while Advance Auto Parts Inc. AAP gained the most due to the 11.1% gain on Sep 30 following the report that Starboard Value has purchased a 3.7% stake in the company.

Meanwhile, Tesla remained the biggest gainer over the last six-month period and General Motors was the worst performer yet again.

Company Last 1-Week Period Last 6 Months
GM +1.0% -18.3%
F -0.8% -14.7%
TSLA -4.8% +32.4%
TM -0.2% -15.3%
HMC -2.8% -8.6%
HOG +3.4% -8.9%
AAP +7.8% +31.9%
AZO -3.0% +4.5%

What's Next in the Auto Space?

Later today, automakers will report their U.S. sales data for September.

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HONDA MOTOR (HMC): Free Stock Analysis Report

DAIMLER AG (DDAIF): Free Stock Analysis Report

ADVANCE AUTO PT (AAP): Free Stock Analysis Report

GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report

TATA MOTORS-ADR (TTM): Free Stock Analysis Report

VOLKSWAGEN-ADR (VLKAY): Free Stock Analysis Report

TESLA MOTORS (TSLA): 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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