The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Volkswagen, Tesla Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - October 16, 2015 - 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 the Volkswagen AG ( VLKAY ), Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA ), Ford Motor Co. ( F ), Toyota Motor Corp. ( TM ) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ( HMC ).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Auto Stock Roundup

Volkswagen AG ( VLKAY ) has announced several strategies to reposition itself following the emission scandal. Meanwhile, Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA ) has finally released a software update that adds autopilot features to its vehicles. Ford Motor Co. ( F ) announced plans to invest $1.8 billion in China over the next five years, while Toyota Motor Corp. ( TM ) revealed its long-term plans related to alternate fuel vehicles and emission control. Meanwhile, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ( HMC ) revealed that it has replaced the airbags in 38.6% of the vehicles recalled for defective Takata airbag inflators in the U.S.

(Read last to last week's recap here: Auto Stock Roundup for Oct 8, 2015 )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. In the wake of the emission scandal, Volkswagen's board has decided to take several steps to reposition the company. Volkswagen will reduce its investment by 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) per year and accelerate its efficiency program. The company will also change its diesel strategy and use only diesel drives with SCR and AdBlue technology in Europe and North America. Further, Volkswagen will develop an MEB electric toolkit for use in the compact segment vehicles and redefine the Phaeton to make it a pure electric car.

2. Tesla released the Version 7.0 software in North America, thus adding several autopilot features to the Model S vehicles fitted with necessary hardware. This will allow the vehicle to steer within a lane; change lanes by tapping a turn signal; manage speed by using traffic-aware cruise control; and digitally control motors, brakes, and steering to avoid collision from the front and sides. Additionally, the software will prevent the car from drifting off the road. The vehicle will also be able to scan for a parking space and parallel park on command.

3. Unfazed by the recent weakness in the Chinese market, Ford is planning to augment its investment in the nation to secure a higher market share. The company will invest nearly 11.4 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) for research and development in China over the next five years. Ford will also expand its portfolio of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the nation over the next few years. Next year, it will launch the C-MAX Energi, a plug-in hybrid, and the Mondeo conventional hybrid in China (read more: Ford to Increase Investment in China to Gain Market Share ).

4. By 2050, Toyota plans to reduce average emission from its vehicles by 90% from the 2010 level. The automaker is targeting annual sales of 30,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2020. Further, Toyota expects most of its vehicles to be electric cars, fuel cell-powered cars and other alternative vehicles by 2050.

5. Honda announced that it has replaced over 3.5 million defective Takata inflators as of Oct 5. This amounts to 38.6% of the vehicles recalled in the U.S.

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VOLKSWAGEN-ADR (VLKAY): Free Stock Analysis Report

TESLA MOTORS (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report

FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report

TOYOTA MOTOR CP (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report

HONDA MOTOR (HMC): 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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