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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Ford Motor and General Motors - Press Releases

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - April 06, 2015 - Zacks.com 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 Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA - Free Report ), Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM - Free Report ), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ( HMC - Free Report ), Ford Motor Co. ( F - Free Report ) and General Motors Co. ( GM - Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Auto Stock Roundup

Weak U.S. sales data for March and a decline in the broader market weighed on the auto stocks over the weak despite several positive developments. Several impressive vehicles were launched at the New York International Auto Show and Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA - Free Report ) scheduled a new product unveiling for the end of this month.

Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM - Free Report ) announced plans to shift half of its total vehicle manufacture to new cost-saving platforms. Meanwhile, the Indian subcontinent continued to favor auto manufactures due to its cost benefits. Two of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.'s ( HMC - Free Report ) subsidiaries in India decided to expand their production capacity, while Ford Motor Co. ( F - Free Report ) inaugurated an integrated manufacturing facility in the subcontinent.

U.S.Auto Sales

U.S.light-vehicle sales inched up 0.5% year over year to 1.55 million units in Mar 2015. Sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate ("SAAR") basis amounted to 17.1 million units in March, surpassing the estimated 16.9 million.

The marginal year-over-year improvement came on the back of higher sales by some major automakers such as Toyota. However, most large players such as General Motors Co. ( GM - Free Report ), Honda and Ford reported a decline in sales. Despite the decline, General Motors sold the highest number of vehicles in March.

(Read last to last week's recap here: Auto Stock Roundup for Mar 26, 2015 )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. A host of new vehicles were launched at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Ford unveiled a new model of Lincoln Continental and Honda launched its 2016 Civic Concept. Ford's new Focus RS also made its U.S. debut at the show. General Motors introduced the 2016 models of Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Malibu and GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali, among others. Toyota unveiled the 2016 models of Lexus RX and RX Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Scion iM and Scion iA. Several other automakers also showcased their new models.

2. Toyota plans to shift half of the total vehicles it manufactures to new cost-saving platforms by 2020. The automaker believes that it will be able to reduce development costs by 20% by shifting production and through the use of common components. It expects this new plan to enhance fuel efficiency of its powertrains by 25% and decrease the cost of starting new production lines by 50%. Also, it expects the initial investment required for a new plant to decrease by 40% following the implementation of the plan (read more: Toyota to Shift 50% Vehicle Production to New Platforms ).

3. Honda announced that its motorcycle production and sales subsidiary in India, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. ("HMSI"), will invest INR 5.85 billion (approximately $93.1 million) to add a new production line at its motorcycle plant in Karnataka, India. The new production line will commence operations from 2016 and increase the production capacity of the plant. Meanwhile, Honda's automobile production and sales subsidiary in India, Honda Cars India Limited, will invest around INR 3.8 billion (approximately $60.48 million) in its automobile production plant in Rajasthan, India to add several new facilities and boost the production capacity of the plant (read more: Honda Subsidiaries to Expand Production Capacity in India ).

4. Ford has inaugurated the Sanand Vehicle Assembly and Engine Plant - an integrated manufacturing facility, comprising a vehicle manufacturing facility and an engine plant - in Gujarat, India. The vehicle manufacturing plant will have an initial annual capacity of 240,000 units. The engine plant, on the other hand, will have an initial annual capacity of 270,000 engines (read more: Ford Opens Vehicle & Engine Manufacturing Facility in India ).

5. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company will launch a new product line on Apr 30. Musk's specification that the new product line is not a car has sparked widespread speculation about what the product may be. The most common hypothesis is that Tesla will launch a solar energy battery storage unit for home and business use as Musk had revealed that the company is developing one, in its last earnings conference call in February. He had also said that the home battery would be unveiled within one or two months of the conference call, which makes Apr 30 an ideal date for the launch (read more: Will Tesla Unveil a Home Battery Next Month? ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

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TESLA MOTORS (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report

TOYOTA MOTOR CP (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report

HONDA MOTOR (HMC): Free Stock Analysis Report

FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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